PL 111-216 Has Been Signed Into Law
On August 1, 2010, President Obama signed PL 111-216, The Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010, into law. The passage of this law marked the culmination of over 15 months of tireless effort by the Families of Continental Flight 3407 and it includes many safety provisions that we are in support of.
PL 111-216 outlines numerous requirements for improving the safety of the American flying public. The key sections of the bill are summarized below and the full text of the bill can be found here:
- Section 202 - Requires the Secretary of Transportation to annually report to the Transportation and Infrastructure/Commerce Committees on the status of all NTSB safety recommendations related to Part 121 air carrier operations.
- Section 203 - Requires FAA Administrator to establish an electronic database of FAA records, air carrier records, and National Driver Register records of all pilots and prospective pilots, and requires air carriers to access and evaluate these records before hiring any pilots.
- Section 204: Requires FAA Administrator to establish a task force to review specific safety and training areas, with annual reports to T&I/Commerce Committees. Focuses on identifying best practices and tracking the implementation of these best practices.
- Section 205: Requires DOT Inspector General to conduct a review of how the FAA is organized to oversee Part 121 carriers, and the effectiveness of this oversight, particularly in the level of oversight provided to major versus regional carriers. Requires the IG to report to the Administrator upon completion.
- Section 206: Requires FAA Administrator to convene an Aviation Rulemaking Committee to make recommendations focused on the areas of mentoring, professional development, and leadership, and then conduct a rulemaking based on these findings.
- Section 207: Requires FAA Administrator to conduct a study of industry best practices with regard to pilot pairing, crew resource management techniques, and pilot commuting. The Administrator shall then submit to T&I/Commerce Committees a report on the findings of this study.
- Section 208: Requires FAA Administrator to conduct rulemakings that require all part 121 air carriers to provide stall and upset recognition and recovery training, as well as to implement remedial training programs. Also forms a multidisciplinary panel to report on stick pusher and weather event training.
- Section 209: Gives FAA a timeline to complete its current rulemaking on crewmember training, and forms a multipdisciplinary panel to examine a number of issues related to various aspects of pilot training - ground school, recurrent training, assessing proficiency, etc. - and then report to Congress.
- Section 210: Requires all ticket agents, air carriers, and any other persons selling plane tickets to disclose verbally or in writing the name of the carrier actually operating each segment of a flight, and requires internet ticket sites to disclose this information in the initial display after a search.
- Section 211: Requires FAA Administrator to conduct on-site random inspections at a minimum of a yearly basis at all regional airlines.
- Section 212: Requires FAA Administrator to conduct rulemaking establishing new flight and duty time regulations, requires all part 121 carriers to submit a Fatigue Risk Management Plan for Administrator approval, and directs a study on commuting, with findings to be incorporated into fatigue rulemaking.
- Section 213: Requires FAA Administrator to report to T&I/Commerce Committees on a carrier-by-carrier basis, detailing which carriers are utilizing FOQA, LOSA, ASAP, and AQP, and also examine how the data derived from such programs is being shared across the industry to ensure maximum safety benefit.
- Section 214: Requires FAA Administrator to develop a plan to facilitate the implementation of ASAP and FOQA at all part 121 carriers.
- Section 215: Requires FAA Administrator to conduct a rulemaking to require all part 121 carriers to implement Safety Management Systems.
- Section 216: Requires FAA Administrator to conduct a rulemaking that changes screening and qualification requirements for all Part 121 pilots, requiring ATP license/appropriate multi-engine experience. Includes default provision that ATP requirement is mandatory within 3 years.
- Section 217: Requires FAA Administrator to conduct a rulemaking that modifies the requirements to earn an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) license. Focuses on Flight Hours (including in difficult operational conditions) and additional qualitative elements.