Aviation Law Blog

7Aug, 12

Pilot’s Bill of Rights Signed Into Law

President Obama signed Senate Bill s. 1335 into law on August 3, 2012. The bill, known as the Pilots Bill of Rights, amends current rules related to FAA enforcement proceedings and Notices to Airmen, and calls for a review of pilot medical certification procedures.

Effective immediately, the bill requires the FAA to provide timely written notification to any pilot who is the subject of an investigation relating to an approval, denial, suspension, modification or revocation of an airman certificate. The affected airman is not required to respond to the notification, and a lack of response cannot be used against him or her during the proceeding.

Additionally, an airman who is under investigation will be able to receive timely information related to the investigation, including air traffic control data, radar data, air traffic controller statements and investigative reports.

Appeals regarding airman certification actions can be taken directly in the U.S. District Court covering the district in which the airman resides, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, or the U.S. Court of Appeals. Procedures for the underlying action and the appeal will follow, as closely as possible, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Evidence.

The new law also requires that not later than 180 days after enactment, the FAA shall initiate an assessment of the NOTAM and airman medical certification procedures, with an eye toward improving and streamlining each.

The full text of the new law can be read at http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s1335/text

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