New Law Expands Pilot Rights


Legislation known as the “Pilot’s Bill of Rights” was signed into law by President Barack Obama on Friday. The new law requires the FAA to provide pilots with information about cases that could result in the revocation of their pilot privileges. The change was welcomed by general aviation advocacy groups. “The legislation safeguards the rights of those who fly,” said EAA President Rod Hightower. “We are very pleased for all aviators.” AOPA President Craig Fuller also welcomed the news. “Having access to all available information, including FAA data, is critical for pilots who find themselves under investigation or whose certificates may be in jeopardy,” he said.

The new law requires the FAA to improve its NOTAM system so it’s easier for pilots to find relevant information. The FAA also must review its medical certification standards and forms “to provide greater clarity and guidance to applicants.” Those changes are to be made within a year. The rules affecting pilots’ access to information take effect immediately. The law also allows pilots to appeal the findings of the NTSB in federal district court, and requires the FAA to inform pilots when they’re under investigation and inform them that their comments can be used as evidence against them. The bill was sponsored by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.