September 20, 2011 – Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), a longtime EAA member and pilot, has formally asked the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee for a hearing on Senate Bill 1335, known as the Pilot’s Bill of Rights Act. The measure was introduced in July and outlined by Sen. Inhofe during EAA AirVenture 2011. It currently has 33 co-sponsors, including 31 who joined his request for a hearing in a letter to the committee.
“The Pilot’s Bill of Rights is desperately needed to enhance the relationship between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and members of the general aviation community,” said Inhofe in the letter to Senators John Rockefeller, chairman of the committee, and ranking member Kay Bailey Hutchinson.
“The measure ensures fairness and improved communication between the FAA and pilots. With so many members of the committee supporting this legislation that has the approval of many aerospace organizations like the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), the bill should receive full consideration. That is why I have requested this hearing and mark up, and I appreciate the support of my Senate colleagues.
The Pilot’s Bill of Rights contains four major provisions:
- A pilot involved in an FAA enforcement action must receive all relevant evidence to that action 30 days before any procedure can begin;
- Allows for a federal district court review of appeals from the FAA, and does not allow the NTSB to grant deference to FAA decisions in an appeal;
- The simplification and archival of FAA NOTAMs in a central location;
- A review of the FAA’s medical certification process and forms.
EAA and AOPA helped author the bill and strongly support the measure. Among the 33 co-sponsors of Sen. Inhofe’s proposal are 13 members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.