The U.S. Senate today unanimously passed the Pilot's Bill of Rights, legislation important to Alaska's aviation community. The Pilots Bill of Rights was championed by Sen. Mark Begich and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and was cosponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
"Flying is a way of life in Alaska. It's key to economy, jobs and tourism," Begich said. "With six times more pilots per capita than the rest of the country, it's important to make sure pilots are treated fairly in their dealings with the FAA."
"While so many other states have thousands of roads to get around on, Alaska's skies are our highways," said Murkowski. "This legislation is imperative because we want to make sure our aviators are given the same rights and protections when their wheels are up as they enjoy when their feet are on the ground."
"At a time when so much legislation is at a standstill, it is exciting to see this kind of support for protecting the rights of pilots. Sen. Begich, in collaboration with Sen. Inhofe, the bill's author, has diligently worked to keep this important measure moving forward," said Craig Fuller, President of the Airline Owners Pilots Association. "The bill's success demonstrates not only his personal commitment to protecting the freedom to fly but also provides an impressive example of how collaboration, persistence, and the willingness to take a stand can foster a positive environment for general aviation to grow and thrive."
The Pilot's Bill of Rights would make several changes designed to protect pilots. These include:
* Ensuring pilots have access to any evidence or information used by the FAA during an enforcement proceeding.
* Allowing airmen to appeal an enforcement action to the appropriate federal court.
* Making improvements to the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) process by providing more pertinent and timely information for pilots
* Requires a GAO report on improvements to the airmen medical certification process
"I praise and appreciate Senator Inhofe for his dedicated efforts to pass this legislation," Begich said.
Begich is the Co-Chair of the Senate General Aviation Caucus, of which Murkowski is a member.