Monday, June 15, 2015
“I’ll See You in Court, FAA”
If the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 is passed into law, U.S. certificate holders subject to FAA enforcement action could appeal their case directly to federal court. Proposed by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), the bill would expand and clarify the rights of all certificate holders (airmen, operators and repair stations alike) delineated in the 2012 Pilot’s Bill of Rights—which Inhofe also proposed. Among the new bill’s provisions is one that would let a certificate holder appeal an FAA action directly to a U.S. district court rather than the traditional route of an NTSB appeal. (Though its main job is accident investigation, the NTSB has a staff of administrative law judges that hear FAA appeals.) In addition, the court would have to conduct a “de novo” review—that is, conduct the appeal as a new trial without giving any deference to FAA opinions and decisions.