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Senate Passes Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 for a Third Time
June 16, 2016 - Throughout the current legislative session EAA has made great efforts to ensure that legislation benefiting EAA members and the general aviation community as a whole continues to move through Congress. Last month EAA member Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) attached the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 aeromedical reform bill to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). NDAA passed with overwhelming bipartisan support on Tuesday, making it the third time in seven months that the Senate has passed aeromedical reform. Now that the Senate has passed the defense bill with aeromedical reform attached, it is up to leadership in both chambers to reconcile the differences between the Senate bill and the version already passed by the House.
Once again, aeromedical reform sits on the House’s doorstep. Though the news is positive in the Senate, passing aeromedical reform has been more difficult in the House due to its inclusion in that chamber’s version of the FAA reauthorization bill. That bill contains a controversial proposal to privatize air traffic control – a measure EAA strongly opposes. Senate leaders are urging House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leadership to approve the Senate’s bipartisan FAA reauthorization bill, which includes aeromedical reform and several other measures that benefit general aviation, or move a bill of its own that does not include the controversial air traffic privatization provisions.
As of this writing, there has been little indication that the House would take up the Senate FAA bill strongly favored by EAA. Other provisions favorable to general aviation include language that makes recently improved hangar-use policy permanent, longer aircraft registration renewal periods, direction on Part 23 certification and airworthiness standards, and clarified FAA authority to conduct the fleet-wide authorization necessary to implement a future unleaded aviation fuel, among others.
Given the uncertain path of FAA reauthorization in what little time is left in this congressional session, EAA is now calling upon everyone in the general aviation community to contact their local representatives asking them to urge House leadership to bring aeromedical reform to a vote as a stand-alone bill or in one of the other bills in which it is included. Aeromedical reform has been introduced twice with over 200 bipartisan cosponsors in the House and has been included in the House FAA Reauthorization bill. There is overwhelming support for this measure and it is time for the House to get this done!