Inhofe proposes Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 and asks for YOUR comments

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Senator Inhofe, see below press release, is circulating a draft Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2. The text proposes a number of added protections of General Aviation pilots.The Senator asks for the public’s comments on the draft; that opportunity should be taken by all in aviation to voice your complaints.

About two years ago, the senior Senator from Oklahoma, pictured aboveat EAA’s Oshkosh AirVenture ® being interviewed by AOPA’s Craig Fuller in 2013, proposed legislation and through a process without either hearings or controversy, saw that bill pass in record time. The Pilots’ Bill of Rights made exceptional revisions to the procedures and presumptions applicable to FAA enforcement actions against GA pilots (see this post which summarized those changes).

The second amendment propounded by the Senator is intended now to correct the aviation industry from the following FAA and other governmental agencies “unfair practices and regulations toward the aviation industry”:

  • · By expanding his previously enacted protection of 3rd class medical exemption for light sport aircraft to cover most small GA aircraft.
  • · By reigning in Customs and Border Patrol stops and searches of GA by requiring CBP to follow general law enforcement standards when exercising its powers
  • · Explicitly stating that pilots facing an investigation by FAA can appeal the issue directly to a federal district court for a de novo trial. This provision of the original Pilot’s Bill of Rights has not operated as intended.
  • · Expands the protections of the Pilot’s Bill of Rights to other certificate holders in the aviation community, such as charter operators or repair stations.
  • · Reinstating FAA’s expungement policy, preventing the agency from retaining records of enforcement against an airmen certificate holder after retaining it for 5 years.
  • Also prohibits the retention of records beyond 90 days if the agency does not take enforcement action. Further prevents the FAA from publicizing pending enforcement actions against a covered certificate holder
  • · And a number of other provisions.

It is most interesting that the FAA took the position that appeals from adverse NTSB decisions could not be appealed by the pilots for a new trial to a federal District Court.

If you have another point which you believe should be included be sure to contact the Senator through the above link.

The 1st Pilot’s Bill of Rights flew through the Senate and then the House without a hearing. Neither did the FAA and the Administration raise any objections to the Inhofe bill as it sped through Congress. Will that happen again?

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