Medical Reform Bills Introduced in House and Senate

Dubbed "The Pilot's Bill of Rights 2," new measures introduced last night in the House and Senate would allow private pilots to no longer hold a third class medical certificate for noncommercial VFR and IFR flights in aircraft weighing up to 6,000 pounds with up to six seats.

The legislation, authored by a group of House and Senate General Aviation Caucus members led by Republican Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, would also allow pilots to carry up to five passengers, fly at altitudes below 14,000 feet msl, and fly no faster than 250 knots. The Pilot's Bill of Rights 2 also includes a provision to ensure that pilots can fly under the new rules even if the FAA fails to comply with the bill's provisions 180 days after enactment.

AOPA hailed the legislation as a win for recreational aviators.

"Pilots have already waited too long for medical reform, so we're particularly pleased to see it included in this important measure," said AOPA President Mark Baker, according to the association's website. "Third class medical reform is our top legislative priority, and we will actively work with Congress to build support for this legislation that is so vital to the future of general aviation."

The original Pilot's Bill of Rights, also championed by Inhofe and signed into law in 2012, offered additional protections to pilots who are under investigation by the FAA.

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