Eleven U.S. senators, all co-sponsors of a bill to reform the third-class medical process, are asking the Department of Transportation and the Office of Management and Budget to take quick action on their review of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) proposed medical reform rule.
In a Sept. 2 letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and OMB Director Shaun Donovan, the senators warned that “this is a time-sensitive issue” and asked that both agencies complete their review within one month.
Once the reviews are complete, the FAA can open its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for public comment. The Senate letter notes that, “This NPRM would expand upon the highly-successful light sport pilot medical standard, which has been in place for more than a decade. The FAA was asked to initiate a review nearly three years ago and has thoroughly analyzed the issue.”
The letter is the latest in a series sent by legislative and industry leaders urging the Department of Transportation and Office of Management and Budget to move quickly through the review process. Previously, the original co-sponsors of the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act, 32 members of the House GA Caucus, Senate GA Caucus Co-chair Mark Begich (D-Alaska), and a coalition of seven general aviation industry groups led by AOPA all sent similar letters.
“In recent years, general aviation has suffered significant setbacks, and our country risks losing its position as a global leader in GA,” the bipartisan group of senators wrote in the latest letter. “Tens of thousands of GA pilots are giving up flying. The loss of these women and men in general aviation has a significant negative impact on economic conditions and job opportunities in sectors ranging from manufacturing and agriculture to tourism.”
The letter was led by Senators John Boozman (R-Arkansas) and Jon Tester (D-Montana), and signed by their fellow S. 2103 co-sponsors James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana), Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), and James Risch (R-Idaho).