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General Aviation Bill Passes Senate with Boozman Language to Help Small Aircraft Pilots Keep Flying

BY U.S. SENATOR JOHN BOOZMAN –

WASHINGTON–Language authored by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) that requires the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to reform general aviation medical standards was included in the Pilot’s Bill of Rights II and unanimously passed by the Senate Tuesday night.

The language—a modified version of the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act introduced by Boozman in February—seeks reforms to maintain safety while supporting capable pilots and jobs in the industry and at our small, local airports.

“These reforms are necessary because the FAA has stalled on its pledge to eliminate bureaucratic barriers that ground capable aviators. Over the last decade, 60,000 pilots left the industry, many due to the costly and time consuming process of obtaining paperwork that FAA has acknowledged needs to be changed. By incorporating my bill in the Pilot’s Bill of Rights II, we can provide safety and eliminate these burdens which have proven unnecessary,” Boozman, a co-chair of the Senate General Aviation Caucus, said.

Boozman’s language allows pilots to fly many types of small, light aircraft without a third class medical certificate. The light-sport aircraft program has demonstrated that these changes can occur without compromising safety.

Pilots will be required to undergo a flight review by a certified flight instructor every two years. During these flight reviews, instructors will continue to evaluate each pilot’s physical and cognitive condition, as well as his or her ability to safely operate an aircraft. Small aircraft pilots would be required to maintain a valid driver’s license. Limited medical examinations by a personal physician will be required once every four years, but the requirements will be much less burdensome.

Boozman’s efforts have garnered the support of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).

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