The National Transportation Safety Board in 2011 issued an NPRM and an ANPRM requesting comments on a number of procedural issues that were being considered to make the appeals process better. One of the proposed rules, on which NBAA took particular umbrage in their February 22, 2011 comments, was the odd presumption that the facts alleged by the FAA are presumed to be accurate on an emergency appeal. The association’s arguments against this absurdly pro-government bias should have caused the NTSB to revise this rule.
The NTSB issued an interim final and a final rule on October 16, 2012 and declined to revise the presumption of truth rule for administrative ease reasons. As was noted here, the Board’s rationale failed to recognize the most recent Congressional policy expression on fairness review of FAA pilot certificate actions. As proposed by Sen. Inhofe and passed by both Houses in Congress in record time—BEFORE THE NTSB’S recent issuance, the Congress enacted new rules which gave pilots similar rights to those held by litigants in Federal District Court. This clear expression that pilots’ rights should get greater protections did not direct the NTSB to revise the presumption of the truth of the FAA allegations, but as noted in the previous post, it is likely that the senior Senator from Oklahoma would find the NTSB’s intransigence abhorrent and take further action.
NBAA’s filing makes a very strong argument reminiscent of the JDA Journal points mentioned above plus a number of cogent collateral legal points.
The NTSB would be well advised to reconsider its decision based on the NBAA’s submission or face the wrath of Sen. Inhofe.Share this article: