Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sen. Moran sponsors legislation to support pilots and general aviation

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, recently sponsored bipartisan legislation to support pilots and general aviation.

Over the past 10 years, 60,000 pilots have left the general aviation industry. Sen. Moran joined several of his Senate colleagues in introducing two bipartisan bills to help reverse this troubling trend – the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act and the Pilots Bill of Rights 2.

“These common-sense bills will allow general aviation to grow and prosper while providing vital protections to pilots and aircraft operators,” Sen. Moran said. “I am proud to be an original cosponsor of the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act and the Pilots Bill of Rights 2, two important steps toward ensuring a brighter future for general aviation.”

For many pilots, the current process of obtaining a third-class medical certificate has become burdensome and expensive, while providing very little benefit to the industry. The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act of 2015 (S. 573), introduced by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-Ark.), extends the 2004 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sport pilot rule to include slightly larger aircraft, provided certain safety requirements.

The Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 (S. 571), introduced by U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), would expand the third-class medical exemption for recreational pilots and broaden the protections provided in the original Pilot’s Bill of Rights, which was signed into law in 2012. In addition, S. 571 represents a significant improvement in the due process rights and liability protections for volunteer pilots by ensuring certificate holders have the right to appeal FAA decisions through a new, merit-based trial in Federal Court.

General aviation is the largest industry in Kansas, generating nearly $3 billion in annual exports and manufacturing 40 percent of all general aviation planes.