House Introduces Pilot’s Bill of Rights

House puts forth its own legislation as similar bill pends in the Senate.

Pilot's Bill of Rights
Pilot's Bill of Rights

Following Sen. James Inhofe’s (R.-Okla.) introduction of a Pilot’s Bill of Rights last summer, House representatives have now proposed similar legislation aimed at strengthening safeguards for general aviation pilots.

The new bill, put forth by House General Aviation Caucus co-chair Sam Graves (R.-Mo.) and fellow caucus member Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) earlier this week, would, like the one introduced in the Senate, require the FAA to not only notify pilots under investigation about the charges and evidence against them in sufficient time before proceedings, but to inform them of what future actions can and can’t be used against them. The bill would also strengthen the appeal process for pilots facing infractions in an attempt to improve current procedures that many allege do not give sufficient and fair review to aviators.

Additionally, the bill would streamline the notam system and force the FAA to review and revise its medical certification procedures so that they align with “present-day qualified medical judgment and practices.”

The Senate version of the bill has gained 60 co-sponsors to date and is currently pending within the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Sen. Inhofe introduced the bill after facing enforcement action for landing his Cessna 340 on a closed runway. Inhofe, a pilot with 10,000 hours under his belt, contends the notam for the runway closure had never been filed and that he was unable to access evidence against him in time to properly respond to the allegations.

Graves and Lipinski are now asking their fellow members of the House to coalesce around the bill, and are urging others to join them as co-sponsors. The bill can be read here.