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NBAA Supports NTSB Proposed Rulemaking Affecting EIR Availability

NBAA submitted comments this week in support of revisions suggested by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to extend availability of enforcement investigation reports (EIR) to pilots facing emergency enforcement action by the FAA.

The board’s notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) followed the release of its final rule on Sept. 19 amending the NTSB’s Rules of Practice in Air Safety Proceedings, which clarified the board’s revised role in consideration of pilot appeals of FAA enforcement actions as dictated by the requirements adopted under the Pilot's Bill of Rights passed in the summer of 2012.

Review the final rule. (PDF)

"The business aviation community has a long and demonstrated history of partnership with government safety and security regulatory agencies," wrote Doug Carr, NBAA vice-president for safety, security, operations and regulation, in comments submitted Oct. 21. "These partnerships are based on common objectives and underscore our preference for working cooperatively with these agencies to jointly develop solutions."

In his written comments, Carr expressed the Association's support for closing a "potential loophole" in the final rule that could allow the FAA to withhold the EIR from a certificate holder facing emergency enforcement action.

"This disclosure requirement applies a needed level of transparency to emergency certificate actions, which typically have an immediate and severe impact on the certificate holder pending outcome of the investigation and appeals process," he added. "NBAA believes requiring the FAA to provide the EIR to respondents in emergency cases allows a certificate holder facing emergency enforcement action a fair opportunity to defend themselves."

NBAA also supported language in the NPRM that would allow respondents to file for dismissal of an FAA emergency enforcement action against them, should the agency not provide a copy of the releasable portions of the EIR at the time of serving the action against the respondent. Carr noted the change would more closely align the right for motion to dismiss emergency cases with existing regulatory language governing non-emergency cases, while still accounting for the expedited timeframe required during emergency proceedings.

Carr concluded the Association’s remarks by reiterating the positive effects from collaboration between regulators and industry stakeholders on matters affecting business aviation.

"NBAA truly appreciates the NTSB's willingness to revisit the appropriateness and effectiveness of its regulations dealing with the rules of practice in air safety proceedings, as well as the opportunity to comment on those proposed regulations," he added.

Read NBAA’s Comments on the NPRM. (PDF)