February 26, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a member of the Senate General Aviation Caucus and certified flight instructor with more than 11,000 flight hours, today introduced S. 571, the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 (PBOR 2), legislation to expand the 3rd class medical exemption for recreational pilots and broaden the protections provided in the original Pilot’s Bill of Rights authored by Inhofe and signed into law in 2012. Original co-sponsors of PBOR 2 include Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Bob Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Angus King (I-Maine) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) Congressman Sam Graves (R-Mo.) introduced today the House companion legislation, H.R. 1062.
“The first Pilot’s Bill of Rights was a victory for the aviation community and made possible by the support of pilots and industry leaders across the nation,” Inhofe said. “Since being signed into law, more issues facing the general aviation (GA) community have surfaced. The Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 addresses these concerns and builds on the success of my previous legislation. Among the provisions included in the bill are an expansion of the 3rd class medical exemption and a significant improvement to the due process rights of pilots facing enforcement actions from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). I am proud to work with great organizations like AOPA, EAA and GAMA on this legislation, as well as have the strong bipartisan support of my colleagues in Congress. I will be working to shepherd this law through Congress so that it can be swiftly enacted into law.”
“As a pilot myself and as Co-Chairman of the General Aviation Caucus, it has always been a top priority of mine to address the unique challenges faced by the general aviation sector and to reduce the unnecessary bureaucratic barriers that prevent pilots from flying,” Manchin said. “I am proud to support this bipartisan legislation that includes important reforms for the general aviation community and expands the rights of our pilots and industry leaders nationwide.”
President of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Mark Baker said, “The introduction of the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 is great news for the general aviation community and we are grateful to Sen. Inhofe for putting forward this legislation that would do so much to help grow and support general aviation activity. Pilots have already waited too long for medical reform, so we’re particularly pleased to see it included in this important measure. We will actively work with Congress to build support for this legislation that is so vital to the future of GA and the 1.1 million jobs that depend on it.”
Chairman of the Board for the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Jack Pelton said, “Sen. Inhofe and the other bipartisan co-sponsors in the Senate and House understand the importance of providing for the fair and equitable treatment of all airmen by introducing the second Pilot’s Bill of Rights, and we appreciate their work to move these important measures forward. Aeromedical reform is an urgent need that is overwhelmingly supported by our members and other recreational pilots. We also strongly support the common-sense provisions ensuring due process for airmen in enforcement cases and liability protections for designees conducting important aviation safety activities once exclusively handled by the federal government.”
General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) President and CEO Pete Bunce said, “I applaud Sen. Inhofe for his bipartisan leadership in introducing the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2. This legislation includes much-needed, common-sense reforms for the general aviation community. It is critically important that the third-class medical issue is resolved quickly, and this bill sends a clear message to the bureaucracy to get it done. Additionally, in this time of rapid communications technology, it is unacceptable that the NOTAM system remains broken—this bill will help to fix it. Finally, the liability protections offered to volunteer pilots in this bill are extremely important to the nation as general aviation continues to provide transportation for cancer patients, wounded veterans, and other citizens requiring assistance to access needed medical care.”
In August 2014, Inhofe released a draft of the PBOR 2 legislation to the public and requested feedback to improve the language. At the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh fly-in convention, Inhofe also hosted a public forum to solicit input for the legislation. He received over 400 comments through his website from the general aviation community, which were read and considered in crafting the final legislation introduced today.
Details about the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2: