The Pilots Bill of Rights championed by Sen. James Inhofe (R - Okla.) has been signed into law, bringing with it a new era of transparency in which the FAA must expand legal protections for pilots by providing access to investigative reports and ATC recordings, and handing over evidence being used as the basis of enforcement 30 days before any action is taken.
Inhofe pursued passage of the legislation following an incident in which he landed his Cessna on a closed runway in Texas in Oct. 2010. The FAA agreed to drop legal enforcement action in exchange for the completion of remedial flight training. Inhofe has insisted he was unfairly treated by the FAA during the process.
In addition to creating new legal protections for pilots, the bill also requires the FAA to improve and simplify its notam reporting system and review its medical certification process and forms, with the goal of demonstrating how the agency can reduce the instances of misinterpretation that many say have led to allegations of intentional medical falsification against pilots.