Desk of Lance Wood, President
It looks like the Pilot Bill of Rights 2 is going to pass and needs to in my opinion. I never knew much about his stuff until I got my FAA certification. The Pilots Bill of Rights 1is probably one of the only things Obama has signed into law I agree with. I have been against most of the “Truckers Bill of Rights” that some have pushed because they do not seem to really represent a change in government enforcement but seek change in normal competitive practice and parking. Two things I do not want the government involved in.
There are very few Pilots in the USA compared to Truck drivers. 600,000 pilots counting all types from students to commercial pilots in the USA and 900,000 in the world. Compared to 3.5-8.7 million CDL drivers in the USA. The membership based organizations that represent pilots like the EAA and the AOPA are very active at representing legislative change for their members. More pilots also seem to get involved in these types of organizations. Pilots are more active then truck drivers in protecting their rights. I my opinion we should look to change this as truckers. I am not sure if this is because of the cost of earning the pilots certification is so much more then a CDL so many be they feel its worth fighting to protect or what.
Just look at the AOPA. That is the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. They are basically the OOIDA of pilots. With 600,000 pilots in the USA and 900,000 in the world. They have active membership of 384,915 pilots. You have to be a pilot or engaged in the aviation field to join. The EAA The Experimental Aircraft Association has 180,000 members. I am a life time member of OOIDA for trucking. Yet, it seem we struggle to keep 180,000 members there and anyone can join. This seem sad to me. Think about that. 42% of pilots belong to the AOPA who represents pilots in protecting their rights and privileges of flying. Yet, only 2% of truck drivers are members of OOIDA.
Now do I agree with everything the AOPA and OOIDA do. Nope, not at all. I do agree with more then I don’t. I also call and let them know when I do not agree with something they are doing. There is power in numbers when it comes to lobbying for any industry or group. Its really easy to just sit back and complain about things . Its also really easy to be involved in an organization that lobby’s. For the general welfare of a group. Please take some time and consider if joining OOIDA maybe beneficial to you and your driving career.
Now, back to the subject at hand. The Pilots Bill of Rights. This was signed into law by President Obama in 2012. Its basically a contract with the FAA and the pilots. I would be interested in what others would think about a Truckers Bill of Rights similar to this model.
Here are some of the very simple highlights of the Pilot Bill Of Rights.
So if the FAA is going to investigate a pilot. They have to notify the Pilot in writing that they are investigating them, what they are investigating them for. They have to do this 30 days in advance. The Pilot also has the right to get ALL evidence the FAA has on the investigation. Everything from complaints from an employer, other pilots, even all air traffic control recordings, documents and so forth. Before any enforcement decisions are made. The Pilot then has the right to present any evidence they have to a court to make a ruling. It even changed the way the Medical Certification is done across the board for the Airman’s Medical Certificate.
Why do we not have this as truckers? Under Map-21 the FMCSA was given the ability to not only investigate you, but also suspend your commercial driving ability. They can deem you a hazard. With out you even knowing they have investigated you. You get no chance to review the information and no chance to prove your innocence in front of a court. The FMCSA can basically take you license, income and career with little to no ability to stop them. Not to mention the DOT medical evaluation process. Each DOT doctor seems to have their own idea of what is good and what is not.
The Pilots Bill of Rights 2 that is now in the works and looking to get a lot of support and expected to pass under this congress. Will correct some of the issues that pilots bill of rights 1 missed. Like allowing an airmen to work with their private physician to correct any medical issue BEFORE losing their airmen medical certificate. When you lose your airman’s medical certification. You basically lose your Pilots Certificate as they are liked together.
“AOPA praised yesterday’s action, saying the committee’s approval brings the third-class medical reform one step closer. “Bringing the legislation this far has required persistence and compromise in order to get the very best possible deal for pilots while winning the support needed to keep medical reform on the table,” said AOPA president Mark Baker. “This legislation moves the responsibility for managing many health issues out of the FAA’s bureaucracy and puts it in the hands of pilots where it belongs. The Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 frees pilots to work with their personal physicians to manage their own health, wellness and fitness to fly.”
To me a Truckers Bill of Rights covering these types of situations would get good support from the general trucking community. Verses the Truckers Bill of Rights that some have tried to float that includes removing the competition in rates. Violating personal property rights by requiring a customer to allow parking and so many other crazy ideas.
I would love to hear your comments and ideas. I am sure trucking organizations would as well.