ICYMI: Rokita Continues Fighting for General Aviation

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March 2015-

Washington, DC – Representative Todd Rokita, a member of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee and the House General Aviation Caucus, introduced two bills last week to reform the Third Class Medical certificate and strengthen the rights of private pilots.

"I’m very pleased to continue the effort we started last Congress to eliminate the third class medical. As a pilot, I believe these two bills will grow the general aviation community by reducing unnecessary red tape, holding federal agencies accountable, and protecting the rights of pilots,” said Rep. Rokita.

The first bill, the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act, was first introduced in the 113th Congress, and would allow a person with a valid pilot’s license to operate as pilot in command of a small aircraft without a Third Class Medical certificate, within specified parameters. Rep. Rokita introduced this bill, H.R. 1086, with Representatives Sam Graves (MO-6), Steve Pearce (NM-2), Collin Peterson (MN-7), Dan Lipinski (IL-3), Bill Flores (TX-17), Mike Pompeo (KS-4), and Richard Hanna (NY-22). Sen. John Boozman reintroduced the bill in the Senate.

This bill comes with strong support from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). AOPA President Mark Baker issued the following statement:

“It’s clear that third class medical reform has widespread bipartisan support in Congress as well as in the general aviation community.” said Baker. “We appreciate the steadfast way in which Rep. Rokita and Sen. Boozman and their colleagues are pursuing this issue on behalf of GA pilots.”

The second bill, the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2, includes the Third Class Medical reform, along with additional provisions to protect private pilots from liability on charitable flights, extend legal protections to FAA representatives, and subject FAA contractors to Freedom of Information Act requests. This legislation was introduced by Rep. Sam Graves in the House and Sen. Jim Inhofe in the Senate.

Rep. Rokita looks forward to advancing these reforms in the weeks and months ahead.