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Tue, Feb 13, 2024

NBAA Backing 'Call to Action' on Mental Health Issues in Aviation

House Transportation And Infrastructure Committee Leaders Recently Sent A Bipartisan Letter To The FAA

NBAA has welcomed the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s call for “decisive” federal action to remove barriers that discourage pilots from reporting and seeking care for mental health issues.

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leaders recently sent a bipartisan letter to the FAA from more than 40 members of Congress encouraging the agency to update its mental health protocols to ensure pilots get mental health care in a timely manner.

“NBAA appreciates the leadership from the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee emphasizing the need to address mental health in aviation,” NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said. “This issue is a priority for business aviation, and we know it’s a priority for FAA and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) because it’s vital to aviation safety. We will continue to work with the agencies, Congress and others to ensure those in our industry can get mental health care without concerns over whether doing so will impact their employment.”

The letter from House leaders comes on the heels of the recent formation of a government-industry group established to focus on mental wellness. In December, the FAA formed the Mental Health and Aviation Medical Clearances Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC). NBAA has representation on the panel, which will provide recommendations to the agency on ways to identify and break down barriers that discourage pilots from reporting and seeking care for mental health issues.

Representatives from NBAA also participated in a December NTSB summit that discussed mental health stigmas in the aviation industry, how to put an end to them and provide help to those in need.

NBAA supports efforts by Congress to address the issue in the FAA reauthorization bill that passed the House and is ready for Senate floor action. Both the House-passed bill (H.R.3935) and the legislation approved Feb. 8 by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee (S.1939) include provisions directing FAA to improve aeromedical decision-making on mental health.

FMI: www.nbaa.org

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