July 20, 2012

The U.S. House of Representatives followed the Senate Monday with the passage of “Pilot’s Bill of Rights” legislation intended to provide greater protections and transparency for pilots facing federal enforcement action. The measure adopted by the House (S.1335) was first introduced in the Senate in July 2011 by Sens. James Inhofe (R-OK) and Mark Begich (D-AK.)

That legislation quickly garnered bipartisan support in the Senate, which unanimously passed the bill on June 29, as NBAA reported. “This bill remedies many of the most serious deficiencies in the relationship between general aviation and the FAA, and ensures that pilots are, like everyone else, treated in a fair and equitable manner by the justice system,” Inhofe said at the time of the bill’s passage.

The legislation requires that pilots be provided with timely notice of any pending enforcement actions, and that the FAA grant pilots access to all relevant information to be used against them, including NOTAM data and air traffic control communications. It also provides for a review of the current NOTAM process, as well as review of FAA guidelines regarding medical certification of pilots.

Similar legislation to that passed by the House this week was introduced last January by Reps. Sam Graves (R-6-MO) and Dan Lipinski (D-3-IL). President Obama is expected to sign the measure into law within the next 10 days.