Freshman from MN 8th District introduces Bill to improve NOTAMs
Based on NTSB Recommendation
Rep. Stauber (R-MN) is from same District as Chairman Oberstar
Freshmen Members of Congress have not expected to say or do much. The first few months used to be devoted to learning the ropes and being deferential to your Party’s leadership.
That “code of conduct” is no longer controlling on the new Representatives; according to one expert, the first major milestone for any Congressperson is April 15th, the date for filing first fundraising report with the Federal Election Commission for any sitting member of Congress. In order to show your political prowess, a large treasury is a prerequisite. He who files the biggest number may be seen as a star by the powers to be.
So Representative Pete Stauber (R- MN8) took the initiative and filed, on March 14 ,2019 H.R.1775 – Notice to Airmen Improvement Act of 2019, which would require, if enacted, the FAA to establish a task force to review and make recommendations to improve the presentation of notices to airmen (NOTAMs). Information on NOTAMs, especially those critical to safely operating in and around busy airports, needs to be better prioritized and presented.
The text of the legislation cites as the source of the need to improve NOTAMs, NTSB Recommendation A–18–024.,which reads—
Establish a group of human factors experts to review existing methods for presenting flight operations information to pilots, including flight releases and general aviation flight planning services (preflight) and aircraft communication addressing and reporting system messages and other in-flight information; create and publish guidance on best practices to organize, prioritize, and present this information in a manner that optimizes pilot review and retention of relevant information; and work with air carriers and service providers to implement solutions that are aligned with the guidance.
NOTAMs provide critical safety information, but the medium suffers from too much detail at the time of preparation for a flight. Many of the references have great value when the particular risk is relevant. However, retaining the safety advice for recollection at the time that is needed demands more of memory than is usually expected.
There is more than adequate knowledge on the task force proposed by HR 1775
(1) Air carrier representatives.
(2) Labor union representatives.
(3) General and business aviation representatives.
(4) Aviation safety experts with knowledge of international and domestic regulatory requirements for notices to airmen (in this section referred to as ‘‘NOTAMs’’).
(5) Human factors experts.
HOPEFULLY, if the task force is authorized and then commissioned, they will include some out-of-the-box ideas. There already exists technology which delivers relevant safety information on a real time basis.
The level of sophistication of the proposed legislation is impressive, but Rep. Stauber’s skill in moving his bill suggests that he understands the ways of the House. HR 1775 was passed by the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee in less than 15 days from being dropped in the hopper!
The Member’s background includes
being a college and professional hockey player,
a 20 year career on the local police force (twice subjected to gun violence)
then a political career–St. Louis County Commissioner and City Councilor in Hermantown.
The Eight District of Minnesota has been a strong blue, actually Democratic-Farmer-Labor party, District. In fact, one of T&I’s most famous Chairman, Rep. Oberstar, represented the 8th for 36 years. His name was known to every aviation lobbyist, likely including the AOPA team.
HR 1775 is likely to move swiftly through Congress and Rep. Stauber might adopt the aviation mantle for which his District was known.
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