Contact - Mike Brumas at 202.224.9301 or Anne Johnson at 202.224.8069

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today introduced legislation that would provide guidance to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding donations and reimbursement for pilots who volunteer their time to help a charity.

“Volunteer pilots provide a great pubic benefit by facilitating free air transportation for needy patients, moving lifesaving tissue and organ donations, helping transport veterans for medical care, and by supporting community events like the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Current FAA regulations discourage this selfless service by forcing a volunteer pilot to incur the entire cost of his or her activity, even when donors are available to help defray a pilot’s cost,” Murkowski said.

“I am proud to join Senator Murkowski in sponsoring this great bill that will help pilots who wish to provide volunteer services, including the Iditarod Air Force and their traditional role in support of the race,” said Senator Stevens. “This legislation is very important because it cuts through government red tape and allows pilots to receive donations to reduce the cost of their volunteered services.”

The Volunteer Pilot Act contains a number of limitations aimed at protecting safety and preventing volunteer organizations from competing with licensed air carriers.

The legislation is currently supported by The Iditarod Air Force, The Veterans Airlift Command, Angel Flight Central, LightHawk, Grace Flight of America and other Volunteer Pilot Organizations.