U.S. bill amendment makes rule making tougher for the FAA

May 4, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — New airline safety regulations, including long-sought rules aimed at preventing exhausted pilots from flying, will be harder to issue if an industry-backed measure supported by House Republicans becomes law, federal aviation and safety officials are warning Congress.

A bill providing authority for Federal Aviation Administration programs that the House passed in March contains an amendment sponsored by Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa. It would change the way the FAA goes about making regulations, including requiring an analysis of the effect proposed rules may have on the economy, private markets, productivity, employment and competitiveness.

The FAA would also be required to write separate safety rules for different segments of the airline industry — passenger airlines, cargo carriers, charters and others — even though the agency’s oft-stated goal is to have “one level of safety” across the aviation industry.

A bill passed by the Senate earlier this year doesn’t contain a similar provision, setting up a showdown between the two chambers.

FAA officials have declined to comment publicly about the Shuster amendment. Privately, the agency has been sending lawmakers who inquire a statement that says it “enshrines in legislation a set of procedural hoops that could have the effect of slowing down rulemaking projects underway and in the future.” [Full story]

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