Summary: H.R.5900 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 111-216 (08/01/2010)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The expanded summary of House passed version is repeated here.)

Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010 - Title I: Airport and Airway Extension - (Sec. 101) Amends the Internal Revenue Code to extend through September 30, 2010: (1) excise taxes on aviation fuels and air transportation of persons and property (ticket taxes); and (2) the expenditure authority for the Airport and Airway Trust Fund.

(Sec. 103) Extends through September 30, 2010, project grant authority for the airport improvement program (AIP).

(Sec. 104) Extends through September 30, 2010, various airport development projects, including: (1) the pilot program for passenger facility fees at nonhub airports; (2) small airport grants for airports located in the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau; (3) the temporary increase to 95% in the government share of certain AIP project costs; and (4) the funding of Midway Island airport development.

Extends through September 30, 2010: (1) state and local land use compatibility projects under the AIP program; (2) certain competitive access assurance requirements for large or medium hub airport sponsors applying for AIP grants; (3) the authority of the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority to apply for an airport development grant and impose a passenger facility fee; and (4) Department of Transportation (DOT) insurance coverage for domestic and foreign-flag air carriers, allowing further extension through December 31, 2010.

Extends through December 31, 2010, air carrier liability limits for injuries to passengers resulting from acts of terrorism.

(Sec. 105) Extends through FY2010 the authorization of appropriations for: (1) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) operations; (2) air navigation facilities and equipment; and (3) research, engineering, and development.

Title II: Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement - (Sec. 202) Requires the Secretary of Transportation (DOT) to report annually to Congress and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on NTSB air carrier safety recommendations made to and adopted or refused by the Secretary.

(Sec. 203) 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. Prescribes requirements for: (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 or execute a release from liability the carrier requests.

Authorizes expenditures for FY2010-FY2013.

(Sec. 204) Requires the FAA Administrator to establish the FAA Task Force on Air Carrier Safety and Pilot Training to evaluate, make recommendations, and report to Congress on best practices in the air carrier industry.

(Sec. 205) Requires the DOT Inspector General to review and report to the FAA Administrator on FAA aviation safety inspectors and operational research analysts.

(Sec. 206) Directs the FAA Administrator to convene an aviation rulemaking committee to develop procedures to require commercial air carriers to: (1) establish flight crewmember mentoring programs; (2) develop methods for ensuring that flight crewmembers have proper qualifications and experience; (3) establish or modify training programs for newly employed flight crewmembers and for second-in-command flight crewmembers attempting to qualify as pilot-in-command flight crewmembers for the first time in a specific aircraft type; and (4) ensure that recurrent training for pilots in command includes leadership and command training.

(Sec. 207) Directs the FAA Administrator to study and report to Congress on aviation industry best practices with regard to flight crewmember pairing, crew resource management techniques, and pilot commuting.

(Sec. 208) 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, 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, icing conditions, and microburst and windshear weather events; and (2) report panel findings to specified congressional committees and the NTSB, as well as implement panel recommendations with respect to stick pusher systems.

(Sec. 209) Requires the FAA Administrator to: (1) issue a specified final rule regarding flight crewmembers and aircraft dispatchers training programs; and (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 on optimal length of time between training events.

(Sec. 210) 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, before the purchase of the ticket, the name of the air carrier providing each flight segment.

(Sec. 211) Requires the FAA Administrator to perform, at least annually, random onsite inspections of commercial air carriers to ensure their compliance with FAA safety standards

(Sec. 212) Requires the FAA Administrator to issue regulations to limit the number of flight and duty time hours allowed for pilots to address pilot fatigue.

Requires each commercial air carrier to submit to the FAA Administrator for review and approval a fatigue risk management plan, which shall be updated and approved biennially.

Prescribes civil penalties for violations of such regulations.

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

(Sec. 213) Requires the FAA Administrator to report to Congress on voluntary safety programs, namely the aviation safety action (ASAP), flight operational quality assurance (FOQA), and advanced qualification programs, as well as the line operations safety audit.

(Sec. 214) Directs the FAA Administrator to develop, and submit to Congress, a plan to facilitate the establishment of an ASAP and a FOQA program by all commercial air carriers.

(Sec. 215) Directs the FAA Administrator to conduct a rulemaking proceeding to require commercial air carriers to: (1) implement a safety management system; and (2) develop methods for ensuring that flight crewmembers have proper qualifications and experience.

(Sec. 217) 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.

Authorizes the Administrator to allow specific academic training courses, beyond the minimum required, to be credited toward total flight hours, if allowing a pilot to take such courses will enhance safety more than requiring full compliance with the flight hours requirement.