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Inhofe Introduces Bill to Expand Due Process Protections [With ARSA’s Help]

On Feb. 26, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) introduced the Pilot’s Bill of Rights II (S. 571), legislation to expand due process protections for FAA certificate holders.  Companion legislation was also filed in the House (H.R. 1062).

Building upon the Pilot’s Bill of Rights I, which was enacted in 2012 to benefit pilots, the new bill extends procedural safeguards to other FAA certificated entities, by:

  • Requiring NTSB review of FAA enforcement actions to conform, to the extent practicable, with the Federal Rules of Evidence and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
  • Mandating the FAA to provide timely notice to a certificate holder who is the subject of an investigation, and that any response by the certificate holder can be used as evidence against them.
  • Requiring that in an FAA enforcement action against a certificate holder, the agency must provide all relevant evidence 30 days prior to a decision to proceed with an enforcement action.
  • Removing the special statutory deference as it relates to National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) review of FAA actions for all certificate holders.

Additionally, the proposal mandates the FAA must articulate the specific incidents being used to begin enforcement proceedings against covered certificate holders and prohibits certain actions if the agency fails to provide timely notification of an investigation’s initiation.

The legislation also includes an ARSA-proposed provision limiting the ability of the FAA to reexamine an airman certificate holder unless there is clear evidence of wrongdoing or unsafe behavior.  Even after retesting, the agency many not amend, modify, suspend, or revoke the certificate unless the person lacks the skills or competency to hold the certificate or the certificate was obtained by fraudulent means.

“ARSA commends Sen. Inhofe and the bill’s cosponsors for protecting basic due process for all FAA-certificated entities,” said Daniel B. Fisher, ARSA’s vice president of legislative affairs.  “Expanded protections are particularly important for individuals and small to medium-sized businesses who suffer most from time-consuming FAA enforcement processes, often with little basis or real safety issue. ARSA looks forward to working with Sen. Inhofe to improve upon his legislative language to ensure all FAA certificate, approval and authorization holders are afforded procedural protections and treated equally.”

Take part in the association’s advocacy on Capitol Hill. Join us for Legislative Da on March 18, 2015.

 



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