The Pilot's Bill of Rights, first introduced last summer by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), took a major step forward Friday morning when the U.S. Senate passed it via unanimous consent.
"This is a big victory for general aviation pilots all across the country," said Inhofe.
The Pilot's Bill of Rights includes provisions such as these:
Requires NTSB review of FAA enforcement actions to conform, to the extent practicable, with the Federal Rules of Evidence and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Requires the FAA to provide timely notice to a pilot who is the subject of an investigation, and that any response by the pilot can be used as evidence against him.
Requires that in an FAA enforcement action against a pilot, the FAA must grant the pilot all relevant evidence 30 days prior to a decision to proceed with an enforcement action.
Makes contractor-run flight service station and contract tower communications available to airmen.
Allows for Federal district court review of appeals from the NTSB, at the election of the appellant.
Requires that the FAA undertake a NOTAM Improvement Program, requiring simplification and archival of NOTAMs in a central location.
NOTAM or NoTAM is the quasi-acronym for "Notices To Airmen."
"Over the course of my years in Congress, I have helped an untold number of pilots facing the pressure of dealing with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)," said Inhofe. "This bill remedies many of the most serious deficiencies in the relationship between general aviation and the F-A-A, and ensures that pilots are, like everyone else, treated in a fair and equitable manner by the justice system."
Sen. Inhofe is a member of the Senate General Aviation Caucus and a certified flight instructor with more than 10,000 flight hours.
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