U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and three original co-sponsors have introduced the Fairness for Pilots Act in the House of Representatives, following the introduction of identical legislation in the Senate in March by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.).
Graves, who co-chairs the House General Aviation Caucus, was joined by original co-sponsors Reps. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), Colin Peterson (D-Minn.)—both AOPA members—and Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), also a strong GA supporter. Graves, Rokita, and Lipinski are members of the House Aviation Subcommittee.
The same four House members introduced the Pilots Bill of Rights 2 in the House during the last Congress. Although the pilots’ rights legislation passed the Senate three times, only the section mandating third class medical reform became law.
“AOPA supports efforts in Congress to increase protections for pilots that will help preserve general aviation’s many contributions to communities of all sizes, including 1.1 million well-paying jobs," said AOPA President Mark Baker. “We thank Congressman Graves for his leadership in introducing the Fairness for Pilots Act in the House of Representatives and will work with both chambers to move this forward.”
The 2017 measures now introduced in both houses contain provisions for fairer treatment of pilots in FAA investigations, and would require the FAA to expedite its efforts to improve the flight information it provides.
During FAA investigations or enforcement actions against a pilot, the agency would be required to “articulate the specific activity under investigation” and provide documentation.
Aviators would gain the right “to appeal an FAA decision through a new, merit-based trial in Federal Court.”
Other provisions would speed up the Notices to Airmen (notam) Improvement Program updates that were mandated in the original 2012 Pilot’s Bill of Rights, require that the FAA include the effective duration of temporary flight restrictions in notams, and certify notam accuracy.