Sept. 25, 2015

U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), a member of the Senate General Aviation Caucus, announced recently that his Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 (PBOR2) (S.571) has surpassed 60 cosponsors in the Senate, giving the measure a filibuster-proof, three-fifths supermajority, and boosting hopes that the legislation will become law this year or next.

“I appreciate the significant bipartisan support for the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2, and I am committed to seeing this legislation to the finish line during the 114th Congress,” Inhofe said in a statement. “The Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 was authored by and for the general aviation community, and it is their persistency with their elected officials that has resulted in more than a majority of the Senate supporting this legislation.”

“We are pleased that support for the bill is increasing, and we look forward to working with Sen. Inhofe to obtain passage of this important legislation, which would be beneficial to our Members,” said Dick Doubrava, NBAA’s vice president of government affairs.

The new bill builds upon the original Pilot’s Bill of Rights, signed into law in 2012. It is designed to continue efforts to “improve and streamline the antiquated regulatory system faced by [general aviation] pilots and industry alike,” Inhofe said.

The Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 includes NBAA-proposed language to ensure that pilots and other certificate holders facing FAA enforcement action have timely access to information needed to mount a proper legal defense. This provision would require the FAA to hand over enforcement reports when serving emergency orders, and upon request in all other cases.

The bill also would expand the third-class medical exemption for general aviation pilots, speed up reform of the NOTAM process and extend civil liability protection to aviation medical examiners and other FAA representatives in the private sector.

Inhofe and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 on Feb. 25. Reps. Sam Graves (R-6-MO) and Collin Peterson (D-7-MN) introduced a companion House measure (H.R. 1062) the same day. Many aviation organizations, including NBAA, have endorsed both versions, saying the legislation would help general aviation grow by providing important protections to pilots and aircraft operators.