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49 U.S. Code § 44728 - Flight attendant certification

(a) Certificate Required.—
(1) In general.—
No person may serve as a flight attendant aboard an aircraft of an air carrier unless that person holds a certificate of demonstrated proficiency from the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. Upon the request of the Administrator or an authorized representative of the National Transportation Safety Board or another Federal agency, a person who holds such a certificate shall present the certificate for inspection within a reasonable period of time after the date of the request.
(2) Special rule for current flight attendants.—
An individual serving as a flight attendant on the effective date of this section may continue to serve aboard an aircraft as a flight attendant until completion by that individual of the required recurrent or requalification training and subsequent certification under this section.
(3) Treatment of flight attendant after notification.—
On the date that the Administrator is notified by an air carrier that an individual has the demonstrated proficiency to be a flight attendant, the individual shall be treated for purposes of this section as holding a certificate issued under the section.
(b) Issuance of Certificate.—
The Administrator shall issue a certificate of demonstrated proficiency under this section to an individual after the Administrator is notified by the air carrier that the individual has successfully completed all the training requirements for flight attendants approved by the Administrator.
(c) Designation of Person To Determine Successful Completion of Training.—
In accordance with part 183 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulation,[1] the director of operations of an air carrier is designated to determine that an individual has successfully completed the training requirements approved by the Administrator for such individual to serve as a flight attendant.
(d) Specifications Relating to Certificates.—Each certificate issued under this section shall—
be numbered and recorded by the Administrator;
contain the name, address, and description of the individual to whom the certificate is issued;
be similar in size and appearance to certificates issued to airmen;
contain the airplane group for which the certificate is issued; and
be issued not later than 120 days after the Administrator receives notification from the air carrier of demonstrated proficiency and, in the case of an individual serving as flight attendant on the effective date of this section, not later than 1 year after such effective date.
(e) Approval of Training Programs.—
Air carrier flight attendant training programs shall be subject to approval by the Administrator. All flight attendant training programs approved by the Administrator in the 1-year period ending on the date of enactment of this section shall be treated as providing a demonstrated proficiency for purposes of meeting the certification requirements of this section.
(f) Minimum Language Skills.—
(1) In general.—No person may serve as a flight attendant aboard an aircraft of an air carrier, unless that person has demonstrated to an individual qualified to determine proficiency the ability to read, speak, and write English well enough to—
read material written in English and comprehend the information;
speak and understand English sufficiently to provide direction to, and understand and answer questions from, English-speaking individuals;
write incident reports and statements and log entries and statements; and
carry out written and oral instructions regarding the proper performance of their duties.
(2) Foreign flights.—
The requirements of paragraph (1) do not apply to a flight attendant serving solely between points outside the United States.
(g) Flight Attendant Defined.—
In this section, the term “flight attendant” means an individual working as a flight attendant in the cabin of an aircraft that has 20 or more seats and is being used by an air carrier to provide air transportation.

[1]  So in original. Probably should be “Regulations,”.
Editorial Notes
References in Text

For effective date of this section, referred to in subsecs. (a)(2) and (d)(5), see Effective Date note below.

The date of enactment of this section, referred to in subsec. (e), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 108–176, which was approved Dec. 12, 2003.


2018—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 115–254, § 539(i)(1), substituted “title 14” for “chapter 14”.

Subsec. (d)(3). Pub. L. 115–254, § 539(i)(2), substituted “be” for “is”.

2012—Subsecs. (f), (g). Pub. L. 112–95 added subsec. (f) and redesignated former subsec. (f) as (g).

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date

Pub. L. 108–176, title VIII, § 814(c), Dec. 12, 2003, 117 Stat. 2592, provided that:

“The amendments made by subsections (a) and (b) [enacting this section and amending the analysis to this chapter] shall take effect on the 365th day following the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 12, 2003].”

Pub. L. 112–95, title III, § 304(b), Feb. 14, 2012, 126 Stat. 58, provided that:

“The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall work with air carriers to facilitate compliance with the requirements of section 44728(f) of title 49, United States Code (as amended by this section).”