Pilot's Bill of Rights Introduced in House
Companion bill to EAA-supported Senate measure unveiled last summer
January 31, 2012 - Longtime EAA member Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), along with Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), have jointly introduced the House version of the "Pilot's Bill of Rights" that would provide aviators with more protection and access to information in FAA enforcement proceedings.
The bill (H.R. 3816) is a companion bill to the U.S. Senate version (S. 1335) introduced last July by EAA member Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK). That Senate bill, which was outlined to aviators by Sen. Inhofe last summer at EAA AirVenture 2011, already has 60 co-sponsors.
Rep. Graves, chairman of the House General Aviation Caucus, and Rep. Lipinski, also an active member of the Caucus, are currently seeking additional co-sponsors for their proposal. EAA and AOPA, as well as Helicopter Association International, the National Business Aviation Association, and the Recreational Aviation Foundation are industry supporters of the bill.
The House measure contains four key elements:
- More protection and access to information during FAA enforcement proceedings
- Requires the FAA to initiate a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) improvement program
- Requires that Flight Service Station briefings and other air traffic services provided by any government contractor be available through a Freedom of Information Act request
- A review of the FAA medical certification process and forms, with a goal of greater clarity to reduce instances of misinterpretation.
"Having companion bills introduced in both houses of Congress is a major step forward in advancing this legislation that will benefit aviators," said Doug Macnair, EAA's vice president of government relations, who assisted in crafting the original legislation. "We thank Representative Graves for championing this issue and hope to build the sort of support in the House that has already been seen in the Senate. We encourage EAA members to contact their congressional representatives and urge them to co-sponsor this bipartisan measure."
EAA members can find and contact their congressional representatives on the Find Your Representative website.