Senator Murkowski Co-Sponsoring Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2

Legislation Further Empowers Alaska’s Citizen Aviators

Senator Lisa Murkowski has signed on as co-sponsor of the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 — legislation that grants aviators more common-sense results and transparency in their interactions with the FAA and allows certified pilots to fly if they meet the medical requirements needed to acquire a driver’s license. This bill broadens and expands the original Pilot’s Bill of Rights that Senator Murkowski also co-sponsored in the previous Congressional session.

“Alaskans depend heavily on aviation—with over 80% of our communities off the road system, our skies are our highways. With more private planes per capita than any other state, Alaska’s pilots need to know the rules of the road when dealing with the FAA,” said Murkowski. “I am proud to support this legislation, and I hope it swiftly moves forward through Congress.”

Details about 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 all 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 develop a prioritization system organizing NOTAMs by urgency and importance, as well as 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.