Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (10/14/2009)

Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act of 2009 - (Sec. 3) Requires the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to establish the FAA Task Force on Air Carrier Safety and Pilot Training to evaluate and report to specified congressional committees on best practices in the air carrier industry.

(Sec. 4) Directs the FAA Administrator to conduct a rulemaking proceeding to require air carriers to: (1) provide flight crewmembers with ground training and flight training or flight simulator training to recognize and avoid or recover from a stall or an upset of an aircraft; and (2) establish remedial training programs for flight crewmembers who have demonstrated performance deficiencies or experienced failures in the training environment.

Requires the FAA Administrator to: (1) convene a multidisciplinary panel of specialists to study and report on methods to increase the familiarity of flight crewmembers with stick pusher systems and certain weather events; and (2) report panel findings to specified congressional committees and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), as well as implement panel recommendations with respect to stick pusher systems.

(Sec. 5) Requires the Secretary of Transportation to report annually to Congress and the NTSB on NTSB air carrier safety recommendations made to and adopted or refused by the Secretary.

(Sec. 6) Directs the FAA Administrator to establish an electronic pilot records database of pertinent information in FAA, air carrier, and other records (including the National Driver Register) that an air carrier shall access and evaluate before allowing an individual to begin service as a pilot. Delineates requirements regarding: (1) records updating; (2) pilot access to records, and the right to review and correct inaccuracies found in them; (3) protection of, and electronic access to, records; and (4) air carrier refusal to hire if the pilot does not give consent to an air carrier to receive a record.

Authorizes expenditures for FY2010-FY2012.

(Sec. 7) Requires the FAA Administrator to: (1) issue a specified final rule regarding flight crewmembers and aircraft dispatchers training programs; (2) convene a multidisciplinary expert panel to assess and make recommendations on best methods and optimal time needed for flight crewmembers of commercial and of commuter or on-demand air carriers to master aircraft systems and certain air maneuvers as well as length of time between training courses; and (3) report to specified congressional committees and the NTSB on panel findings.

(Sec. 8) Requires the Inspector General (IG) of the Department of Transportation (DOT) to review and report to the FAA Administrator on FAA aviation safety inspectors and operational research analysts. Requires the FAA Administrator to report to specified congressional committees on any recommended policy changes of the IG the FAA Administrator intends to adopt and implement.

(Sec. 9) Directs the FAA Administrator to conduct a rulemaking proceeding to require commercial air carriers to: (1) establish flight crewmember mentoring programs; and (2) develop methods for ensuring that flight crewmembers have proper qualifications and experience.

(Sec. 11) Directs the FAA Administrator to conduct a rulemaking proceeding to modify minimum federal requirements for the issuance of airline transport pilot certificates. Requires a pilot to have at least 1,500 flight hours to qualify for a certificate.

(Sec. 12) Directs the Comptroller General to study and report to Congress on flight schools, flight education, and academic training requirements for pilot certification.

(Sec. 13) Requires the FAA Administrator to report to specified congressional committees on certain voluntary safety programs.

(Sec. 14) Directs the FAA Administrator to develop and submit to specified congressional committees a plan to facilitate the establishment of an aviation safety action program (ASAP) and a flight operational quality assurance (FOQA) program by all commercial air carriers.

(Sec. 15) Directs the FAA Administrator to conduct a rulemaking proceeding to require commercial air carriers implement a safety management system.

(Sec. 16) Treats as an unfair or deceptive trade practice for any ticket agent, air carrier, foreign air carrier, or other person to sell tickets for a flight on an air carrier without disclosing the name of the air carrier providing each flight segment before the purchase of the ticket.

(Sec. 17) Requires the FAA Administrator to issue regulations to: (1) limit the number of flight and duty time hours allowed for pilots to address pilot fatigue problems; as well as (2) require commercial air carriers to develop for FAA approval fatigue risk management plans. Requires such plans be updated and approved biennially.

Requires each commercial air carrier to submit to the Administrator for review and approval a fatigue risk management plan.

Provides civil penalties for violations of such regulations.

Requires the FAA Administrator to enter into appropriate arrangements with the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study the effects of commuting on pilot fatigue.

Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 18) Directs the FAA Administrator to study and report to specified congressional committees on aviation industry best practices with regard to flight crewmember pairing and crew resource management techniques.