Thursday, May 1, 2014

General Aviation Pilot Certification Re-Examined

The United States Department of Transportation has announced that it has "joined with the Cornell e-Rulemaking Initiative in a pilot project to explore ways to use the Internet, blogging, and social media to help ease and encourage greater public participation in DOT rulemaking."

The platform is "RegulationRoom," which is designed and operated by "CeRI" (the Cornell eRulemaking Initiative) to provide "an online environment for people and groups to learn about, discuss, and react to selected rules (regulations) proposed by federal agencies. It expands the types of public input available to agencies in the rulemaking process, while serving as a teaching and research platform."

Meanwhile, it is reported that the Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA") is bringing flying and driving together by evaluating a proposed rule that would allow private pilots to use a driver’s license instead of a medical certificate.

This issues arise from a joint petition filed two years ago by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association ("AOPA") and the Experimental Aircraft Association ("EAA") requesting that a third-class medical exemption cover more recreational pilots.

Meanwhile, related legislation in the form of a General Aviation Pilot Protection Act ("GAPPA," House Bill H.R. 3708 and Senate Bill S.2103), is pending in Congress.  Essentially, a driver's license would double as a pilot's license in specific situations.

These efforts parallel a study suggesting that the FAA improve the usability of its online application system and clarity of its pilot's medical form.