Officials with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) report they are continuing to push hard to bring the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 (PBOR2) to a successful outcome in Congress. Thanks to the flood of calls from EAA members to their senators in support of PBOR2, the number of co-sponsors on the bill increased from 33 to 57 in a matter of days, officials add.
Despite overwhelming support from the general aviation community, the reform effort saw pushback from various powerful interest groups, such as the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). EAA officials denounced the pushback and said they are “putting in a tremendous effort to ensure it does not affect the outcome of this legislation.”
Multiple strategies have been used in recent weeks to pass PBOR2 in the Senate, but each has come up short due to larger and more controversial political issues, EAA officials said. After PBOR2 met small yet fervent opposition in the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, a different tactic was attempted by its supporters. Senators Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and John Boozman (R-Arkansas) filed a modified version of PBOR2 as an amendment to the Highway Bill recently passed by the House of Representatives.
Though EAA officials were optimistic that the Manchin-Boozman amendment was one of the best opportunities for PBOR2 to pass through the Senate, some senators began to see the Highway Bill as an opportunity to insert other, highly contentious issues having nothing to do with transportation. Due to the “must pass” nature of the Highway Bill, Senate leadership rejected almost every proposed amendment to the bill, including Manchin-Boozman.
Though PBOR2 has encountered multiple roadblocks over the past few weeks, EAA continues to pursue a successful resolution for long-fought third-class medical reform. At AirVenture, Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), PBOR2’s original sponsor, announced that he would attempt to introduce PBOR2 to the Senate floor as a standalone bill if it could gain 60 co-sponsors.
To achieve the goal, EAA officials said they must work to gather co-sponsors over the August congressional recess.
“We ask any member who has not yet called his or her senators to do so and strongly convey support for PBOR2,” officials said. “Please ask any and all of your fellow aviation enthusiasts to do the same.”
A current list of co-sponsors can be found here.