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Tue, Dec 18, 2012

NBAA Urges NTSB To Change Its Position On Emergency Appeals

Comments Filed With The Board On Monday

In comments filed Monday with the NTSB, the NBAA disagreed with the board’s position that an NTSB judge must continue to assume that FAA’s allegations are true. Under the current rules, in an emergency appeal situation, the NTSB defers to the FAA on the facts of the case.

NBAA has advocated for several years for the NTSB to change this position. NTSB recently declined to do so, noting a lack of resources to hold hearings on petitions contesting emergency determinations. “This is fundamentally unfair and contrary to all notions of due process,” said attorney Paul Lange, who is leading NBAA’s initiative to change this policy. Furthermore, NBAA believes the board’s position is contrary to Congressional intent with the recently enacted Pilots Bill of Rights.

In the comment letter regarding due process, the NBAA said that  "the FAA need do nothing more than carefully draft the factual allegations in its complaint so as to prevail in any challenge to its emergency determination," the letter states. "The overwhelming percentage of cases decided by the Board in favor of the FAA on this issue proves the point."

As to the PBOR, the NBAA said that "there was no debate regarding what Congress intended" when passing the Pilot's Bill of Rights. The organization also said that the board failed to follow appropriate administrative procedures.

The NBAA said in its letter that it "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 and the Equal Access to Justice Act of 1980." They say they will support any NTSB efforts to update and improve these regulations.

FMI: Read the Comment Letter

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