WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a member of the Senate General Aviation Caucus, reports his Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 (S.571) has surpassed 60 cosponsors in the Senate, making it “filibuster proof.”
Inhofe introduced the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 Feb. 26, which includes legislation that would expand the third class medical exemption for recreational pilots and broaden the protections provided in the original Pilot’s Bill of Rights signed into law in 2012.
As of Sept. 17, S.571 had 61 cosponsors, surpassing a filibuster-proof majority when Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) signed on to the legislation.
“I appreciate the significant bipartisan support for the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2, and I am committed to seeing this legislation to the finish line during the 114th Congress,” said Inhofe. “The Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 was authored by and for the general aviation community, and it is their persistency with their elected officials that has resulted in more than a majority of the Senate supporting this legislation. Together, we have been able to build off the success of the original Pilot’s Bill of Rights, and this second edition will continue to improve and streamline the antiquated regulatory system faced by GA pilots and industry alike.”
The 61 cosponsors include: U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), David Cassidy (R-La.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Thad Cochran (R- Miss.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Jeff Flake (R-Ari.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Heidi Heitkamp (D-Mont.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Angus King (I-Maine), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Joe Manchin (D- W.Va.), John McCain (R-Ari.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), James Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Jeanne Shaheen (R-N.H.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), David Vitter (R-La.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
The Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2:
- Reforms FAA’s overly burdensome medical certification process by expanding an existing FAA medical standard to include more qualified, trained pilots.
- Extends the due process rights preserved in the first PBOR to individual FAA certificate holders, and enhances those rights by ensuring certificate holders have the right to appeal a FAA decision through a new, merit-based trial in Federal Court.
- Increases transparency for all FAA certificate holders subject to an investigation or enforcement action by holding FAA accountable for communicating with certificate holders. FAA is required to articulate a specific description of the incident or incidents under investigation to parties involved in the investigation, and provide specific documentation relevant to its investigation.
- Expedites updates to the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) Improvement Program required in the first Pilot’s Bill of Rights and directs FAA to include the effective duration of temporary flight restrictions. This ensures the most relevant and important information reaches the pilot. The legislation also mandates that FAA certify the accuracy of posted NOTAMs.
- Ensures the accessibility of flight data such as air traffic communication tapes and radar information produced by contract towers, flight service stations and controller training programs, giving certificate holders the ability to use this information to defend themselves during an enforcement action proceeding.
- Extends liability protection to individuals designated by FAA, such as aviation medical examiners, pilot examiners or designated airworthiness representatives. This provision provides the protections enjoyed by federal employees to individuals performing a uniquely federal function, ensuring everyone has access to medical professionals and designees to sign off on check rides and the flightworthiness of experimental aircraft.
- Acts as a Good Samaritan Law for volunteer aviation pilots, protecting pilots from liability as long as they are following appropriate procedures. This is an important consideration for non-profit organizations dependent on volunteers that provide non-cost transportation for the public benefit.