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104th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 2d Session                                                     104-684
_______________________________________________________________________


 
              AIRLINE PILOT HIRING AND SAFETY ACT OF 1996

                                _______
                                

 July 17, 1996.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Shuster, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3536]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 3536) to amend title 49, United 
States Code, to require an air carrier to request and receive 
certain records before allowing an individual to begin service 
as a pilot, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that 
the bill as amended do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Airline Pilot Hiring and Safety Act of 
1996''.

SEC. 2. EMPLOYMENT INVESTIGATIONS OF PILOTS.

  (a) In General.--Chapter 447 of title 49, United States Code, is 
amended by redesignating section 44723 as section 44724 and by 
inserting after section 44722 the following:

``Sec. 44723. Preemployment review of prospective pilot records

  ``(a) Pilot Records.--
          ``(1) In general.--Before allowing an individual to begin 
        service as a pilot, an air carrier shall request and receive 
        the following information:
                  ``(A) FAA records.--From the Administrator of the 
                Federal Aviation Administration, information pertaining 
                to the individual that is maintained by the 
                Administrator concerning--
                          ``(i) current airman certificates (including 
                        airman medical certificates) and associated 
                        type ratings, including any limitations 
                        thereon; and
                          ``(ii) summaries of legal enforcement actions 
                        which have resulted in a finding by the 
                        Administrator of a violation of this title or a 
                        regulation prescribed or order issued under 
                        this title and which have not been subsequently 
                        overturned.
                  ``(B) Air carrier records.--From any air carrier (or 
                the trustee in bankruptcy for the air carrier) that has 
                employed the individual at any time during the 5-year 
                period preceding the date of the employment application 
                of the individual--
                          ``(i) records pertaining to the individual 
                        that are maintained by an air carrier (other 
                        than records relating to flight time, duty 
                        time, or rest time) under regulations set forth 
                        in--
                                  ``(I) section 121.683 of title 14, 
                                Code of Federal Regulations;
                                  ``(II) paragraph (A) of section VI, 
                                appendix I, part 121 of such title;
                                  ``(III) paragraph (A) of section IV, 
                                appendix J, part 121 of such title;
                                  ``(IV) section 125.401 of such title; 
                                and
                                  ``(V) section 135.63(a)(4) of such 
                                title; and
                          ``(ii) other records pertaining to the 
                        individual that are maintained by the air 
                        carrier concerning--
                                  ``(I) the training, qualifications, 
                                proficiency, or professional competence 
                                of the individual, including comments 
                                and evaluations made by a check airman 
                                designated in accordance with section 
                                121.411, 125.295, or 135.337 of such 
                                title;
                                  ``(II) any disciplinary action 
                                relating to the training, 
                                qualifications, proficiency, or 
                                professional competence of the 
                                individual which was taken by the air 
                                carrier with respect to the individual 
                                and which was not subsequently 
                                overturned by the air carrier; and
                                  ``(III) any release from employment 
                                or resignation, termination, or 
                                disqualification with respect to 
                                employment.
                  ``(C) National driver register records.--From the 
                chief driver licensing official of a State, information 
                concerning the motor vehicle driving record of the 
                individual in accordance with section 30305(b)(7) of 
                this title.
          ``(2) 5-year reporting period.--A person is not required to 
        furnish a record in response to a request made under paragraph 
        (1) if the record was entered more than 5 years before the date 
        of the request, unless the information is about a revocation or 
        suspension of an airman certificate or motor vehicle license 
        that is still in effect on the date of the request.
          ``(3) Requirement to maintain records.--The Administrator and 
        each air carrier (or the trustee in bankruptcy for the air 
        carrier) shall maintain pilot records described in paragraph 
        (1) for a period of at least 5 years.
          ``(4) Written consent for release.--Neither the Administrator 
        nor any air carrier may furnish a record in response to a 
        request made under paragraph (1) (A) or (B) without first 
        obtaining the written consent of the individual whose records 
        are being requested.
          ``(5) Deadline for provision of information.--A person who 
        receives a day following the date of receipt of the request (or 
        on or before the 30th day following the date of obtaining the 
        written consent of the individual in the case of a request 
        under paragraph (1) (A) or (B)), all of the records maintained 
        by the person that have been requested.
          ``(6) Right to receive notice and copy of any record 
        furnished.--A person who receives a request for records under 
        paragraph (1) shall provide to the individual whose records 
        have been requested--
                  ``(A) on or before the 20th day following the date of 
                receipt of the request, written notice of the request 
                and of the individual's right to receive a copy of such 
                records; and
                  ``(B) in accordance with paragraph (9), a copy of 
                such records, if requested by the individual.
          ``(7) Reasonable charges for processing requests and 
        furnishing copies.--A person who receives a request for records 
        under paragraph (1) or (9) may establish a reasonable charge 
        for the cost of processing the request and furnishing copies of 
        the requested records.
          ``(8) Right to correct inaccuracies.--An air carrier that 
        receives the records of an individual under paragraph (1)(B) 
        shall provide the individual with a reasonable opportunity to 
        submit written comments to correct any inaccuracies contained 
        in the records before making a final hiring decision with 
        respect to the individual.
          ``(9) Right of pilot to review certain records.--
        Notwithstanding any other provision of a law or agreement, an 
        air carrier shall, upon written request from a pilot employed 
        by such carrier, make available, within a reasonable time of 
        the request, to the pilot for review any and all employment 
        records referred to in paragraph (1)(B) pertaining to the 
        pilot's employment.
          ``(10) Privacy protections.--
                  ``(A) Use of records.--An air carrier or employee of 
                an air carrier that receives the records of an 
                individual under paragraph (1) may use such records 
                only to assess the qualifications of the individual in 
                deciding whether or not to hire the individual as a 
                pilot.
                  ``(B) Required actions.--Subject to subsection (c), 
                the air carrier or employee of an air carrier shall 
                take such actions as may be necessary to protect the 
                privacy of the pilot and the confidentiality of the 
                records, including ensuring that the information 
                contained in the records is not divulged to any 
                individual that is not directly involved in the hiring 
                decision.
                  ``(C) Individuals not hired.--If the individual is 
                not hired, the air carrier shall destroy or return the 
                records of the individual received under paragraph (1); 
                except that the air carrier may retain any records 
                needed to defend its decisions not to hire the 
                individual.
          ``(11) Standard forms.--The Administrator may promulgate--
                  ``(A) standard forms which may be used by an air 
                carrier to request the records of an individual under 
                paragraph (1); and
                  ``(B) standard forms which may be used by a person 
                who receives a request for records under paragraph (1) 
                to obtain the written consent of the individual and to 
                inform the individual of the request and of the 
                individual's right to receive a copy of any records 
                furnished in response to the request.
          ``(12) Regulations.--The Administrator may prescribe such 
        regulations as may be necessary--
                  ``(A) to protect the personal privacy of any 
                individual whose records are requested under paragraph 
                (1) and to protect the confidentiality of those 
                records;
                  ``(B) to preclude the further dissemination of 
                records received under paragraph (1) by the air carrier 
                who requested them; and
                  ``(C) to ensure prompt compliance with any request 
                under paragraph (1).
  ``(b) Limitation on Liability; Preemption of State and Local Law.--
          ``(1) Limitation on liability.--No action or proceeding may 
        be brought by or on behalf of an individual who is seeking a 
        position with an air carrier as a pilot against--
                  ``(A) the air carrier for requesting the individual's 
                records under subsection (a)(1);
                  ``(B) a person who has complied with such request and 
                in the case of a request under subsection (a)(1) (A) or 
                (B) has obtained the written consent of the individual;
                  ``(C) a person who has entered information contained 
                in the individual's records; or
                  ``(D) an agent or employee of a person described in 
                subparagraph (A) or (B);
        in the nature of an action for defamation, invasion of privacy, 
        negligence, interference with contract, or otherwise, or under 
        any Federal, State, or local law with respect to the furnishing 
        or use of such records in accordance with subsection (a).
          ``(2) Preemption.--No State or political subdivision thereof 
        may enact, prescribe, issue, continue in effect, or enforce any 
        law, regulation, standard, or other provision having the force 
        and effect of law that prohibits, penalizes, or imposes 
        liability for furnishing or using records in accordance with 
        subsection (a).
          ``(3) Provision of knowingly false information.--Paragraphs 
        (1) and (2) shall not apply with respect to a person that 
        furnishes in response to a request made under subsection (a)(1) 
        information that the person knows is false.
  ``(c) Limitation on Statutory Construction.--Nothing in this section 
shall be construed as precluding the availability of the records of a 
pilot in an investigation or other proceeding concerning an accident or 
incident conducted by the Secretary, the National Transportation Safety 
Board, or a court.''.
  (b) Chapter Analysis Amendment.--The analysis for chapter 447 of such 
title is amended by striking

``44723. Annual report.''

and inserting

``44723. Preemployment review of prospective pilot records.
``44724. Annual report.''.

  (c) Conforming Amendment.--Section 30305(b) of such title is amended 
by redesignating paragraph (7) as paragraph (8) and by inserting after 
paragraph (6) the following:
  ``(7) An individual who is employed or seeking employment by an air 
carrier as a pilot may request the chief driver licensing official of a 
State to provide information about the individual under subsection (a) 
of this section to the individual's prospective employer or to the 
Secretary of Transportation. Information may not be obtained from the 
Register under this paragraph if the information was entered in the 
Register more than 5 years before the request, unless the information 
is about a revocation or suspension still in effect on the date of the 
request.''.
  (d) Civil Penalties.--Section 46301 of such title is amended by 
inserting ``44723,'' after ``44716,'' in each of subsections (a)(1)(A), 
(a)(2)(A), (d)(2), and (f)(1)(A)(i).
  (e) Applicability.--The amendments made by this section shall apply 
to any air carrier hiring an individual as a pilot on or after the 30th 
day after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 3. RULEMAKING TO ESTABLISH MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR PILOT 
                    QUALIFICATIONS.

  Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall issue a 
notice of a proposed rulemaking to establish--
          (1) minimum standards and criteria for preemployment 
        screening tests measuring the biographical factors (psychomotor 
        coordination), general intellectual capacity, instrument and 
        mechanical comprehension, and physical fitness of an applicant 
        for employment as a pilot by an air carrier; and
          (2) minimum standards and criteria for pilot training 
        facilities which will be licensed by the Administrator and 
        which will assure that pilots trained at such facilities meet 
        the preemployment screening standards and criteria described in 
        paragraph (1).

SEC. 4. SHARING ARMED SERVICES RECORDS.

  (a) Study.--The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, 
in conjunction with the Secretary of Defense, shall conduct a study to 
determine the relevance and appropriateness of requiring the Secretary 
of Defense to provide to an air carrier, upon request in connection 
with the hiring of an individual as a pilot, records of the individual 
concerning the individual's training, qualifications, proficiency, 
professional competence, or terms of discharge from the Armed Forces.
  (b) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of 
this Act, the Administrator shall transmit to Congress a report on the 
results of the study.

SEC. 5. MINIMUM FLIGHT TIME.

  (a) Study.--The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration 
shall conduct a study to determine whether current minimum flight time 
requirements applicable to individuals seeking employment as a pilot 
with an air carrier are sufficient to ensure public safety.
  (b) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of 
this Act, the Administrator shall transmit to Congress a report on the 
results of the study.

                               Background

    Since 1987, according to National Transportation Safety 
Board (NTSB) investigations, there have been several commercial 
airplane crashes attributed to pilot error.
    Moreover, in a number of these accidents, employers were 
not aware that the pilots had documented histories of poor 
performance with their previous airlines.
    The NTSB has recommended to the Federal Aviation 
Administration (FAA) on three separate occasions, as a result 
of crashes, that air carriers by required to conduct 
substantive background checks on pilot applicants which would 
include verification of personal flight records and examination 
on training, performance, and disciplinary records of previous 
employers.
    In each instance, the FAA indicated that although it agrees 
with the intent of the recommendations, it does not believe 
that any benefits derived from such regulatory change would 
outweigh the costs of promulgating and enforcing the regulatory 
change.
    The first NTSB recommendation, in 1988, was issued 
following a DC-9 takeoff accident at Denver, Colorado. The 
investigation revealed that the first officer had been 
dismissed by his previous employer because of his unsuccessful 
performance after 30 hours of simulator training. This 
information was not obtained in the background check performed 
for the airline by a contract security company.
    The second recommendation, in 1990, was issued to the FAA 
as a result of a commuter accident at Molokai, Hawaii. This 
investigation revealed that Aloha Island Air did not contact 
the captain's previous employers. Although the FAA did not 
issue regulations in this instance, Aloha Island Air 
implemented a new preemployment screening procedure.
    In fact, Aloha Island Air later rejected a captain who 
misrepresented his employment record. That captain subsequently 
was hired by Scenic Air Tours, which did not check his 
background, and he was involved in an accident that prompted a 
third NTSB recommendation in 1993.
    Similarly, the FAA disagreed with the third recommendation, 
contending that it was the responsibility of the airlines to 
verify the validity of a pilot's certificates.
    On December 13, 1994, American Eagle Flight 3379 from 
Greensboro, North Carolina to Raleigh-Durham fell about 4 
nautical miles short of the runway while attempting an 
instrument controlled landing in poor weather conditions. 
Thirteen passengers and the two crew members were fatally 
injured.
    The pilot in the Raleigh-Durham crash had been forced to 
quit by a previous employer because of poor piloting skills. 
However, American Eagle hired him just four days later without 
knowing of his poor performance.
    As a result of this crash, the NTSB again made several 
recommendations to the FAA, including the sharing of pilot 
performance records among airlines.
    According to the NTSB, probable cause of the American Eagle 
Flight 3379 accident was pilot error. The NTSB specifically 
stated that the causes of this accident were: (1) the captain's 
improper assumption that an engine had failed, and (2) the 
captain's subsequent failure to follow approved procedures for 
engine failure, single-engine approach and go-around, and stall 
recovery.
    Also contributing to the cause of the accident was the 
failure of the airline's management to identify, document, 
monitor, and remedy deficiencies in pilot performance and 
training.

                          Need for Legislation

    FAA rules (14 CFR 121.683 and 135.63(a)(4)) require an 
employer to maintain current records of each pilot showing the 
pilot's qualifications, proficiency, and compliance with the 
applicable sections of Part 121 and Part 135.
    Employers are also required to maintain any records 
concerning the release of a pilot for physical or professional 
disqualification.
    However, the FAA does not require a potential employer to 
conduct a pilot/applicant background check. And there are no 
FAA requirements to verify flight experience, determine an 
applicant's safety history, pilot training and performance in 
his or her previous position, or any criminal or driving 
history.
    While the vast majority of air carriers do obtain the 
driving records of prospective pilots, most do not attempt to 
obtain pilot performance records.
    In 1988, the General Accounting Office surveyed Part 121 
and Part 135 carriers and found that many of them did not 
verify statements in airmen employment applications. Moreover, 
a majority of them did not even verify the validity of the 
applicant's airman certificate.
    The NTSB completed its own investigation of commuter 
airline safety in 1994. Its survey showed that twenty percent 
of these carriers may not conduct background checks on 
professional references.
    Although the FAA has decided to monitor carriers as to 
whether they check the validity of airman certificates and use 
FAA data bases on enforcement and accident histories, the FAA 
has not sought to require a check between airlines. They have 
indicated that this would be too costly.
    There have now been four fatal accidents in less than ten 
years involving pilots with questionable and undiscovered 
performance histories. Commercial aircraft accidents are so 
rare that to have four in seven years is troubling and 
conclusive evidence of a more serious problem.
    While the Committee is greatly impressed with the overall 
quality of airline pilots in this country, it considers it 
important to ensure that airlines are aware of a pilot's 
previous performance when hiring that pilot from another 
carrier. Ensuring this will help to maintain the high standards 
of aviation safety that the public expects and prevent the sort 
of accidents described above. It will also help to weed out 
those few pilots who undermine the excellent performance and 
reputation of the pilot community as a whole.
    The Committee believes that the proper solution is for 
airlines to maintain and share reasonable information, rather 
than establishing a new government system to collect and store 
information. Accordingly, the reported bill (H.R. 3536) would 
require an airline, before hiring a pilot, to obtain that 
pilot's records from the FAA, the National Driver Register, and 
the airline that the pilot worked for during the previous 5 
years. The records to be obtained are not merely the objective 
information on licenses and qualifications but also subjective 
evaluations of the applicant's performance as a pilot. The 
airline could request and receive the information itself or 
hire a third party acting as an agent of the airline to request 
and receive the pilot's background information in the same 
manner as the airline and with the same rights, 
responsibilities, and legal obligations as the airline.
    The Committee is aware that airlines, while sympathetic to 
the view that pilot performance records should be shared 
between carriers, are very concerned about the costs of 
potential law suits that could arise from pilots upset about 
evaluations in their records. At the same time, the matter of 
employee privacy rights, that arises when pilot performance 
records as shared, is an important concern.
    The Committee understands these concerns and has addressed 
both of them in the reported bill.
    First, no action or proceeding, in regard to the sharing of 
pilot records or the information in those records, may be 
brought by or on behalf of an individual who is seeking a 
position with an air carrier. An exception to this provision 
would apply only if an air carrier knowingly provided false 
information with respect to a pilot's record. This exception is 
narrowly drawn to allow lawsuits only where the airline 
actually lies about the pilot. While similar statutes in other 
areas use the phrase ``knows or should have known'', the 
reported bill limits the exception to the situation where the 
airline actually knew that the information it was transferring 
was false. This should protect the airlines from frivolous 
lawsuits while preventing an airline from ruining a good 
pilot's career because of some manager's personal vendetta.
    Second, the sharing of a pilot's records cannot take place 
until the air carrier has received the written consent of the 
individual whose records are being requested. The pilot has the 
right to submit written comments to correct any inaccuracies 
contained in the records before the carrier makes a final 
hiring decision with respect to that individual. The pilot, 
upon written request, must also be afforded the opportunity to 
review his or her records in a reasonable time frame.
    In addition to addressing the issue of pilot record 
sharing, sections 3, 4, and 5 of the reported bill direct 
studies in the related areas of minimum pilot qualifications, 
minimum flight time, and the sharing of military records.
    Although the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) establish 
minimum eligibility requirements for obtaining pilot 
certificates, industry standards have typically exceeded the 
FAA's regulatory requirements. However, air carrier hiring 
standards fluctuate with cyclical trends in the air 
transportation market. Some hiring standards, based on the 
qualifications of available pilots, become less stringent as 
demand grows.
    The Committee recommends that, in preparation for the 
issuance of a notice of proposed rule making (NPRM) under 
section 3 of the reported bill, the Administrator review the 
1993 Report of the Pilot and Aviation Maintenance Technician 
Blue Ribbon Panel.
    This report, entitled ``Pilots and Aviation Maintenance 
Technicians for the Twenty-First Century: An Assessment of 
Availability and Quality,'' provides basic research required to 
comprehend the scope of the related problems concerning the 
qualifications of pilots and pilot training well into the 21st 
century.
    The rulemaking on preemployment screening and flight 
training school standards, as directed by section 3 of the 
bill, is necessary to ensure that the commercial pilots who 
will be operating sophisticated equipment in the complex 
aerospace system of the future will be the best trained and 
most qualified aviation personnel in the world.
    The pertinent issue is the question of quality and the need 
to update the minimum training standards to ensure knowledge of 
computers, human factors, instrument and mechanical 
comprehension, and physical fitness of an applicant for 
employment as a pilot by an air carrier in light of 
increasingly sophisticated equipment.
    Section 4 of the reported bill also addresses the issue of 
sharing military performance records with the civilian aviation 
industry.
    Most military pilot candidates are carefully screened and 
selected. The ability to select the best qualified candidates 
for flight training programs further enhances the value of 
these pilots for the military and, eventually, the civilian air 
carriers.
    In the past, military pilots have satisfied between 35 to 
85 percent of the civilian air carrier flight crew member 
hiring demand.
    The Committee understands the importance of the military 
trained pilot to the civilian aviation industry. Thus, the 
reported bill requires the FAA in conjunction with the 
Secretary of Defense to conduct a study to determine the 
relevance and appropriateness of requiring the Secretary of 
Defense to provide to an air carrier, upon request in 
connection with the hiring of an individual as a pilot, records 
of the individual concerning the individual's training, 
qualifications, proficiency, professional competence, or terms 
of discharge from the Armed Forces.
    There has also been considerable debate surrounding the 
adequacy of the FAA's current minimum flight time requirements 
for pilots. FAA rules (14 CFR 61.129) currently require a 
minimum of 250 hours of flight time and a proficiency 
examination in order to obtain a commercial pilot certificate. 
Section 5 of the reported bill directs the FAA to conduct a 
study to determine whether current minimum flight time 
requirements applicable to individuals seeking employment as a 
pilot with an air carrier are sufficient to ensure public 
safety.

                       Section-By-Section Summary

                        Section 1.--Short Title

    This section provides that the Act may be cited as the 
``Airline Pilot Hiring and Safety Act of 1996''.

            Section 2.--Employment Investigations of Pilots

    This section adds a new section 44723 to the chapter on air 
safety regulation.
    Subsection (a) of section 44723 deals with pilot records. 
This subsection would require an airline, before hiring a 
pilot, to request the pilot's records. The hiring airline would 
be required to request from the FAA, the pilot's license, 
medical certificate, type rating, and any enforcement actions 
that resulted in a finding against the pilot that has not been 
overturned.
    In addition, it requires the airline to request records 
from the pilot's previous airline employer. These records 
include proficiency and route checks, airplane and route 
qualifications, training, physical exams, physical or 
professional disqualifications, drug tests and alcohol tests.
    Airlines would be required to request the motor vehicle 
driving records of the pilot from the National Driver Register.
    Similar items would be required at contract carriers and at 
commuter airlines.
    Records that must be furnished are limited to those entered 
within 5 years of the date of the request unless the record 
involves a license revocation that is still in effect.
    The FAA and the airlines would be required to maintain the 
relevant records for 5 years. Before any records are released, 
the FAA and the airlines must obtain written consent from the 
pilot. These records must be provided within 30 days.
    The pilot must also be informed within 20 days that his or 
her records have been requested and that the pilot has a right 
to receive a copy of those records. A reasonable charge may be 
imposed by those providing the records on those requesting the 
records.
    An airline receiving the records must give the pilot a 
chance to submit written comments correcting any inaccuracies 
in those records. The pilot is also afforded the right to 
review his or her records at the current employer.
    The privacy of the pilot is protected by limiting the use 
of the records received under this section to those involved in 
the hiring decision and by requiring that the records be 
destroyed or returned when they are no longer needed.
    The FAA would be permitted to provide standard forms to 
request records, obtain the written consent from pilots, and 
inform the pilot of the record request. In addition, this 
section would permit the FAA to promulgate rules protecting the 
privacy of pilots and ensuring the prompt compliance with a 
request for records. However, the provisions of section 44723 
go into effect in accordance with subsection (e) even if the 
FAA has not issued any of the rules or forms under this 
paragraph.
    Subsection (b) of section 44723 limits liability and 
preempts States and local law. Paragraph (1) prohibits lawsuits 
against an airline or its employees for requesting a pilot's 
record, complying with such a request, or entering information 
into the pilot's record. Paragraph (2) preempts any State or 
local government from passing any law which would undermine 
this prohibition. However, paragraph (3) provides a limited 
exception to the prohibition in paragraph (1) by permitting a 
lawsuit or State action if the airline lied about the pilot.
    Subsection (c) of section 44723 makes clear that the 
privacy protections and other limits in this bill are not meant 
to hinder the FAA, NTSB, or a court in their ability to obtain 
records in the course of an investigation of an accident. This 
section also revises the current law governing the National 
Driver Register to conform to this bill.
    Subsection (d) makes violations of the record-sharing and 
privacy provisions subject to civil penalties.
    Subsection (e) makes the above changes applicable to any 
airline hiring a pilot 30 days after the date of enactment.

   section 3.--rulemaking to establish minimum standards for pilots 
                             qualifications

    This section requires the FAA to issue a proposed rule 
within 18 months establishing minimum standards for pilot 
qualifications.

               section 4.--sharing armed services records

    This section requires the FAA, together with the Defense 
Department, to report within one year on whether military pilot 
records should be made available to civilian airlines seeking 
to hire that pilot.

                    section 5.--minimum flight time

    This section requires the FAA to conduct a study to 
determine whether current minimum flight time requirements for 
an individual seeking employment as a pilot with an air carrier 
are sufficient. The results of this study must be submitted to 
Congress not later than 1 year after the date of enactment.

                    Hearings and Legislative History

    The Subcommittee on Aviation held hearings on the issue of 
pilot record sharing on December 13 and 14, 1995. H.R. 3536 was 
introduced on May 29, 1996.
    On May 30, 1996, the Subcommittee on Aviation reported the 
bill, by unanimous voice vote, to the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure. On June 6, 1996, the 
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure ordered the bill 
reported, with an amendment, by voice vote with a quorum 
present.

            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    With respect to the requirements of clause 2(l)(3)(A) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

                     Inflationary Impact Statement

    Pursuant to clause 2(l)(4) of rule XI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee estimates that the 
enactment of H.R. 3536 will have no significant inflationary 
impact on prices and costs in the operation of the national 
economy.

                        Costs of the Legislation

    Clause 7 of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the 
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is 
included in this report.

                     Compliance With House Rule XI

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(B) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee references the report of the Congressional Budget 
Office included below.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(D) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee has received no report of oversight findings and 
recommendations from the Committee on Government Reform and 
Oversight on the subject of H.R. 3536.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(C) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the following cost estimate for H.R. 
3536 from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 11, 1996.
Hon. Bud Shuster,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of 
        Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
reviewed H.R. 3536, the Airline Pilot Hiring and Safety Act of 
1996, as ordered reported by the House Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure on June 6, 1996. If enacted, 
this bill would require an air carrier to request and receive 
certain records before allowing an individual to begin service 
as a pilot. CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 3536 would 
cost the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) between $500,000 
and $1 million over the next two fiscal years, assuming 
appropriation of the necessary funds. Enacting H.R. 3536 could 
increase offsetting collections to the FAA as well as 
collections of civil penalties, which are federal receipts, but 
CBO estimates that any such increases would be negligible. 
Nevertheless, pay-as-you-go procedures would apply.
    Bill purpose.--H.R. 3536 would amend Title 49 of the U.S. 
Code by adding requirements for a preemployment review of 
prospective pilots' records. Specifically, the bill would:
          Require air carriers to gather records from the 
        Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), other air 
        carriers, and state departments of motor vehicles 
        (DMVs) on prospective pilots;
          Provide for reasonable charges by the FAA, air 
        carriers, and the DMVs to cover the cost of processing 
        requests and making copies of records;
          Allow the FAA to create standard forms for air 
        carriers and individuals to use to request records, and 
        to develop regulations to protect privacy and 
        confidentiality and to ensure compliance, and
          Impose civil penalties for violating new hiring 
        requirements.
    The bill also would require the FAA to:
          Establish minimum standards and criteria for 
        preemployment screening tests and pilot training 
        facilities;
          Conduct a study in conjunction with the Department of 
        Defense (DoD) to determine if DoD pilot records should 
        be shared with an air carrier, and
          Conduct a study to determine if minimum flight-time 
        requirements are sufficient.
    Federal budgetary impact.--Based on information from the 
FAA, CBO estimates that the cost of processing requests and 
furnishing copies of records as a requirement of this 
legislation would be recovered through charges paid by the 
requesters. In fiscal year 1995, the FAA received over 2,000 
requests for records on 14,647 airmen and received between 
$450,000 and $500,000 in offsetting collections for the cost of 
processing the requests. The FAA does not believe that the 
number of requests would increase significantly as a result of 
this bill because many air carriers are already requesting 
records, conducting preemployment screening, and following 
standards similar to those in H.R. 3536.
    Both the development of standard forms and the privacy 
regulations would be at the discretion of the Administrator. If 
the Administrator chooses to develop standard forms, the cost 
would be less than $40,000, and promulgating the regulations to 
protect privacy and confidentiality would cost about $175,000. 
Based on information from the FAA, CBO estimates that the cost 
of conducting a rulemaking proceeding to establish standards 
and criteria for preemployment screening tests and pilot 
training facilities would be approximately $275,000. The cost 
of conducting studies on the sharing of DoD records and minimum 
flight-time requirements and publishing the two reports would 
be $200,000.
    CBO estimates that likelihood of collecting any civil 
penalties for violating new hiring requirements is small.
    Impact on State, local, and tribal government.--The bill 
would require state DMV officials to provide information from 
the National Driver Register on an individual's motor vehicle 
driving record within 30 days of receiving a request from an 
air carrier. The bill would allow the states to charge the air 
carriers a reasonable fee for providing the requested records. 
H.R. 3536 would also require the DMV officials to, within 20 
days, notify the individual in writing of the request and of 
their right to receive copies of the records. Because the 
National Driver Register program is a voluntary federal 
program, these requirements would not constitute mandates as 
defined by Public Law 104-4. They would, however, result in 
some costs to states. Based on information from Department of 
Transportation, state DMVs, and airline industry 
representatives, CBO estimates that these additional 
administrative costs would be insignificant.
    Private-sector impact.--H.R. 3536 would impose new mandates 
on air carriers. However, based on information provided by the 
FAA and industry representatives, CBO estimates that the net 
direct costs of the private-sector mandates identified in the 
bill would not exceed the $100 million threshold established in 
Public Law 104-4. The bill would require air carriers to obtain 
information about a pilot's safety record from the FAA, the 
pilot's previous air carrier employer, and the National Driver 
Register prior to allowing that individual to begin service as 
a pilot. The bill would expand the requirements for types of 
recordkeeping, and increase the minimum period for maintaining 
pilot records to five years. In addition, an air carrier could 
not furnish records in response to a request without first 
obtaining the written consent of the individual whose records 
are being requested. The bill also would require the FAA to 
issue a proposed rule within 18 months establishing minimum 
standards for pilot qualifications.
    Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations establishes the 
current mandated level of recordkeeping on pilots by air 
carriers. Air carriers are currently not required to share 
records when hiring pilots. Although some air carriers now 
request such records, industry-wide such requests for records 
are not a routine part of the hiring process. In 1995, a total 
of 8,814 pilots were hired and the industry projects that over 
10,000 pilots will be hired in 1996 and 1997. To accommodate 
the requirements of H.R. 3536, additional clerical staff may be 
needed by the airlines to handle records administration. This 
burden may be somewhat greater for smaller regional air 
carriers. Information provided by the air carrier industry 
suggests that in total these costs would be well below the 
threshold for private-sector mandates.
    H.R. 3536 would increase the requirements governing the 
types of records maintained to include records of disciplinary 
actions and release from employment, and would extend the 
required recordkeeping period for some records from six months 
or more to five years for all pilot records. Many air carriers 
keep records longer than the required periods. In 1995 there 
were between 55,000 and 74,000 commercial pilots employed 
nationwide. As a result of these additional requirements, air 
carriers would require additional storage facilities to house 
more records.
    Section 4 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
excludes from the application of that act legislative 
provisions that enforce the constitutional rights of 
individuals. CBO has determined that the bill's provisions 
limiting an individual's right to bring a claim in federal, 
state, or local court regarding the furnishing or use of the 
required records fit within that exclusion.
    The CBO staff contacts are Clare Doherty (for federal 
costs), Karen McVey (for the state, local, and tribal impact), 
and Dan Lieberman (for the private-sector impact).
            Sincerely,
                                              James L. Blum
                                   (For June E. O'Neill, Director).

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3 of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the 
bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law proposed 
to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new matter is 
printed in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed 
is shown in roman):

                      TITLE 49, UNITED STATES CODE

          * * * * * * *

             SUBTITLE VI--MOTOR VEHICLE AND DRIVER PROGRAMS

          * * * * * * *

                 CHAPTER 303--NATIONAL DRIVER REGISTER

          * * * * * * *

Sec. 30305. Access to Register information

  (a) * * *
  (b) Requests To Obtain Information.--(1) * * *
          * * * * * * *
  (7) An individual who is employed or seeking employment by an 
air carrier as a pilot may request the chief driver licensing 
official of a State to provide information about the individual 
under subsection (a) of this section to the individual's 
prospective employer or to the Secretary of Transportation. 
Information may not be obtained from the Register under this 
paragraph if the information was entered in the Register more 
than 5 years before the request, unless the information is 
about a revocation or suspension still in effect on the date of 
the request.
  [(7)] (8) A request under this subsection shall be made in 
the form and way the Secretary of Transportation prescribes by 
regulation.
          * * * * * * *

                    SUBTITLE VII--AVIATION PROGRAMS

          * * * * * * *

                    PART A--AIR COMMERCE AND SAFETY

          * * * * * * *

                    SUBPART II--ECONOMIC REGULATION

          * * * * * * *

                     CHAPTER 447--SAFETY REGULATION

Sec.
44701.  General requirements.
     * * * * * * *
[44723.  Annual report.]
44723.  Preemployment review of prospective pilot records.
44724.  Annual report.
     * * * * * * *

Sec. 44723. Preemployment review of prospective pilot records

  (a) Pilot Records.--
          (1) In general.--Before allowing an individual to 
        begin service as a pilot, an air carrier shall request 
        and receive the following information:
                  (A) FAA records.--From the Administrator of 
                the Federal Aviation Administration, 
                information pertaining to the individual that 
                is maintained by the Administrator concerning--
                          (i) current airman certificates 
                        (including airman medical certificates) 
                        and associated type ratings, including 
                        any limitations thereon; and
                          (ii) summaries of legal enforcement 
                        actions which have resulted in a 
                        finding by the Administrator of a 
                        violation of this title or a regulation 
                        prescribed or order issued under this 
                        title and which have not been 
                        subsequently overturned.
                  (B) Air carrier records.--From any air 
                carrier (or the trustee in bankruptcy for the 
                air carrier) that has employed the individual 
                at any time during the 5-year period preceding 
                the date of the employment application of the 
                individual--
                          (i) records pertaining to the 
                        individual that are maintained by an 
                        air carrier (other than records 
                        relating to flight time, duty time, or 
                        rest time) under regulations set forth 
                        in--
                                  (I) section 121.683 of title 
                                14, Code of Federal 
                                Regulations;
                                  (II) paragraph (A) of section 
                                VI, appendix I, part 121 of 
                                such title;
                                  (III) paragraph (A) of 
                                section IV, appendix J, part 
                                121 of such title;
                                  (IV) section 125.401 of such 
                                title; and
                                  (V) section 135.63(a)(4) of 
                                such title; and
                          (ii) other records pertaining to the 
                        individual that are maintained by the 
                        air carrier concerning--
                                  (I) the training, 
                                qualifications, proficiency, or 
                                professional competence of the 
                                individual, including comments 
                                and evaluations made by a check 
                                airman designated in accordance 
                                with section 121.411, 125.295, 
                                or 135.337 of such title;
                                  (II) any disciplinary action 
                                relating to the training, 
                                qualifications, proficiency, or 
                                professional competence of the 
                                individual which was taken by 
                                the air carrier with respect to 
                                the individual and which was 
                                not subsequently overturned by 
                                the air carrier; and
                                  (III) any release from 
                                employment or resignation, 
                                termination, or 
                                disqualification with respect 
                                to employment.
                  (C) National driver register records.--From 
                the chief driver licensing official of a State, 
                information concerning the motor vehicle 
                driving record of the individual in accordance 
                with section 30305(b)(7) of this title.
          (2) 5-year reporting period.--A person is not 
        required to furnish a record in response to a request 
        made under paragraph (1) if the record was entered more 
        than 5 years before the date of the request, unless the 
        information is about a revocation or suspension of an 
        airman certificate or motor vehicle license that is 
        still in effect on the date of the request.
          (3) Requirement to maintain records.--The 
        Administrator and each air carrier (or the trustee in 
        bankruptcy for the air carrier) shall maintain pilot 
        records described in paragraph (1) for a period of at 
        least 5 years.
          (4) Written consent for release.--Neither the 
        Administrator nor any air carrier may furnish a record 
        in response to a request made under paragraph (1) (A) 
        or (B) without first obtaining the written consent of 
        the individual whose records are being requested.
          (5) Deadline for provision of information.--A person 
        who receives a request for records under paragraph (1) 
        shall furnish, on or before the 30th day following the 
        date of receipt of the request (or on or before the 
        30th day following the date of obtaining the written 
        consent of the individual in the case of a request 
        under paragraph (1) (A) or (B)), all of the records 
        maintained by the person that have been requested.
          (6) Right to receive notice and copy of any record 
        furnished.--A person who receives a request for records 
        under paragraph (1) shall provide to the individual 
        whose records have been requested--
                  (A) on or before the 20th day following the 
                date of receipt of the request, written notice 
                of the request and of the individual's right to 
                receive a copy of such records; and
                  (B) in accordance with paragraph (9), a copy 
                of such records, if requested by the 
                individual.
          (7) Reasonable charges for processing requests and 
        furnishing copies.--A person who receives a request for 
        records under paragraph (1) or (9) may establish a 
        reasonable charge for the cost of processing the 
        request and furnishing copies of the requested records.
          (8) Right to correct inaccuracies.--An air carrier 
        that receives the records of an individual under 
        paragraph (1)(B) shall provide the individual with a 
        reasonable opportunity to submit written comments to 
        correct any inaccuracies contained in the records 
        before making a final hiring decision with respect to 
        the individual.
          (9) Right of pilot to review certain records.--
        Notwithstanding any other provision of a law or 
        agreement, an air carrier shall, upon written request 
        from a pilot employed by such carrier, make available, 
        within a reasonable time of the request, to the pilot 
        for review any and all employment records referred to 
        in paragraph (1)(B) pertaining to the pilot's 
        employment.
          (10) Privacy protections.--
                  (A) Use of records.--An air carrier or 
                employee of an air carrier that receives the 
                records of an individual under paragraph (1) 
                may use such records only to assess the 
                qualifications of the individual in deciding 
                whether or not to hire the individual as a 
                pilot.
                  (B) Required actions.--Subject to subsection 
                (c), the air carrier or employee of an air 
                carrier shall take such actions as may be 
                necessary to protect the privacy of the pilot 
                and the confidentiality of the records, 
                including ensuring that the information 
                contained in the records is not divulged to any 
                individual that is not directly involved in the 
                hiring decision.
                  (C) Individuals not hired.--If the individual 
                is not hired, the air carrier shall destroy or 
                return the records of the individual received 
                under paragraph (1); except that the air 
                carrier may retain any records needed to defend 
                its decisions not to hire the individual.
          (11) Standard forms.--The Administrator may 
        promulgate--
                  (A) standard forms which may be used by an 
                air carrier to request the records of an 
                individual under paragraph (1); and
                  (B) standard forms which may be used by a 
                person who receives a request for records under 
                paragraph (1) to obtain the written consent of 
                the individual and to inform the individual of 
                the request and of the individual's right to 
                receive a copy of any records furnished in 
                response to the request.
          (12) Regulations.--The Administrator may prescribe 
        such regulations as may be necessary--
                  (A) to protect the personal privacy of any 
                individual whose records are requested under 
                paragraph (1) and to protect the 
                confidentiality of those records;
                  (B) to preclude the further dissemination of 
                records received under paragraph (1) by the air 
                carrier who requested them; and
                  (C) to ensure prompt compliance with any 
                request under paragraph (1).
  (b) Limitation on Liability; Preemption of State and Local 
Law.--
          (1) Limitation on liability.--No action or proceeding 
        may be brought by or on behalf of an individual who is 
        seeking a position with an air carrier as a pilot 
        against--
                  (A) the air carrier for requesting the 
                individual's records under subsection (a)(1);
                  (B) a person who has complied with such 
                request and in the case of a request under 
                subsection (a)(1) (A) or (B) has obtained the 
                written consent of the individual;
                  (C) a person who has entered information 
                contained in the individual's records; or
                  (D) an agent or employee of a person 
                described in subparagraph (A) or (B);
        in the nature of an action for defamation, invasion of 
        privacy, negligence, interference with contract, or 
        otherwise, or under any Federal, State, or local law 
        with respect to the furnishing or use of such records 
        in accordance with subsection (a).
          (2) Preemption.--No State or political subdivision 
        thereof may enact, prescribe, issue, continue in 
        effect, or enforce any law, regulation, standard, or 
        other provision having the force and effect of law that 
        prohibits, penalizes, or imposes liability for 
        furnishing or using records in accordance with 
        subsection (a).
          (3) Provision of knowingly false information.--
        Paragraphs (1) and (2) shall not apply with respect to 
        a person that furnishes in response to a request made 
        under subsection (a)(1) information that the person 
        knows is false.
  (c) Limitation on Statutory Construction.--Nothing in this 
section shall be construed as precluding the availability of 
the records of a pilot in an investigation or other proceeding 
concerning an accident or incident conducted by the Secretary, 
the National Transportation Safety Board, or a court.

[Sec. 44723.] Sec. 44724. Annual report

  Not later than January 1 of each year, the Secretary of 
Transportation shall submit to Congress a comprehensive report 
on the safety enforcement activities of the Federal Aviation 
Administration during the fiscal year ending the prior 
September 30th. The report shall include--
          (1) a comparison of end-of-year staffing levels by 
        operations, maintenance, and avionics inspector 
        categories to staffing goals and a statement on how 
        staffing standards were applied to make allocations 
        between air carrier and general aviation operations, 
        maintenance, and avionics inspectors;
          (2) schedules showing the range of inspector 
        experience by various inspector work force categories, 
        and the number of inspectors in each of the categories 
        who are considered fully qualified;
          (3) schedules showing the number and percentage of 
        inspectors who have received mandatory training by 
        individual course, and the number of inspectors by work 
        force categories, who have received all mandatory 
        training;
          (4) a description of the criteria used to set annual 
        work programs, an explanation of how these criteria 
        differ from criteria used in the prior fiscal year and 
        how the annual work programs ensure compliance with 
        appropriate regulations and safe operating practices;
          (5) a comparison of actual inspections performed 
        during the fiscal year to the annual work programs by 
        field location and, for any field location completing 
        less than 80 percent of its planned number of 
        inspections, an explanation of why annual work program 
        plans were not met;
          (6) a statement of the adequacy of Administration 
        internal management controls available to ensure that 
        field managers comply with Administration policies and 
        procedures, including those on inspector priorities, 
        district office coordination, minimum inspection 
        standards, and inspection followup;
          (7) the status of efforts made by the Administration 
        to update inspector guidance documents and regulations 
        to include technological, management, and structural 
        changes taking place in the aviation industry, 
        including a listing of the backlog of all proposed 
        regulatory amendments;
          (8) a list of the specific operational measures of 
        effectiveness used to evaluate--
                  (A) the progress in meeting program 
                objectives;
                  (B) the quality of program delivery; and
                  (C) the nature of emerging safety problems;
          (9) a schedule showing the number of civil penalty 
        cases closed during the 2 prior fiscal years, including 
        the total initial and final penalties imposed, the 
        total number of dollars collected, the range of dollar 
        amounts collected, the average case processing time, 
        and the range of case processing time;
          (10) a schedule showing the number of enforcement 
        actions taken (except civil penalties) during the 2 
        prior fiscal years, including the total number of 
        violations cited, and the number of cited violation 
        cases closed by certificate suspensions, certificate 
        revocations, warnings, and no action taken; and
          (11) schedules showing the safety record of the 
        aviation industry during the fiscal year for air 
        carriers and general aviation, including--
                  (A) the number of inspections performed when 
                deficiencies were identified compared with 
                inspections when no deficiencies were found;
                  (B) the frequency of safety deficiencies for 
                each air carrier; and
                  (C) an analysis based on data of the general 
                status of air carrier and general aviation 
                compliance with aviation regulations.
          * * * * * * *

                 SUBPART IV--ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES

                         CHAPTER 463--PENALTIES

          * * * * * * *

Sec. 46301. Civil penalties

  (a) General Penalty.--(1) A person is liable to the United 
States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 
for violating--
          (A) chapter 401 (except sections 40103(a) and (d), 
        40105, 40116, and 40117), chapter 411, any of sections 
        41301-41306, 41308-41310(a), 41501, 41503, 41504, 
        41506, 41510, 41511, 41701, 41702, 41705-41709, 41711, 
        41712, or 41731-41742, chapter 419, subchapter II of 
        chapter 421, chapter 441 (except section 44109), or any 
        of sections 44701(a) or (b), 44702-44716, 44723, 44901, 
        44903(b) or (c), 44905, 44906, 44907(d)(1)(B), 
        44909(a), 44912-44915, 44932-44938, 46302, 46303, 
        47107(b) (including any assurance made under such 
        section), or 41715 of this title;
          * * * * * * *
  (2) A person operating an aircraft for the transportation of 
passengers or property for compensation (except an airman 
serving as an airman) is liable to the Government for a civil 
penalty of not more than $10,000 for violating--
          (A) chapter 401 (except sections 40103(a) and (d), 
        40105, 40106(b), 40116, and 40117) or any of sections 
        44701(a) or (b), 44702-44716, 44723, 44901, 44903(b) or 
        (c), 44905, 44906, 44912-44915, or 44932-44938 of this 
        title; or
          * * * * * * *
  (d) Administrative Imposition of Penalties.--(1) * * *
  (2) The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration 
may impose a civil penalty for a violation of chapter 401 
(except sections 40103(a) and (d), 40105, 40106(b), 40116, and 
40117), chapter 441 (except section 44109), or any of sections 
44701(a) or (b), 44702-44716, 44723, 44901, 44903(b) or (c), 
44905, 44906, 44907(d)(1)(B), 44912-44915, 44932-44938, 46302, 
46303, or 47107(b) (as further defined by the Secretary under 
section 47107(l) and including any assurance made under section 
47107(b)) of this title or a regulation prescribed or order 
issued under any of those provisions. The Administrator shall 
give written notice of the finding of a violation and the 
penalty.
          * * * * * * *
  (f) Compromise and Setoff.--(1)(A) The Secretary may 
compromise the amount of a civil penalty imposed for 
violating--
          (i) chapter 401 (except sections 40103(a) and (d), 
        40105, 40116, and 40117), chapter 441 (except section 
        44109), or any of sections 44701(a) or (b), 44702-
        44716, 44723, 44901, 44903(b) or (c), 44905, 44906, 
        44907(d)(1)(B), 44912-44915, or 44932-44938 of this 
        title; or
          * * * * * * *