|Current through P.L. 118-13 (published on www.congress.gov on 08/07/2023)
|49 U.S.C. § 44703
(a) GENERAL.-The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall issue an airman certificate to an individual when the Administrator finds, after investigation, that the individual is qualified for, and physically able to perform the duties related to, the position to be authorized by the certificate.
(1) An airman certificate shall-
(A) be numbered and recorded by the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration;
(B) contain the name, address, and description of the individual to whom the certificate is issued;
(C) contain terms the Administrator decides are necessary to ensure safety in air commerce, including terms on the duration of the certificate, periodic or special examinations, and tests of physical fitness;
(D) specify the capacity in which the holder of the certificate may serve as an airman with respect to an aircraft; and
(E) designate the class the certificate covers.
(2) A certificate issued to a pilot serving in scheduled air transportation shall have the designation "airline transport pilot" of the appropriate class.
(c) PUBLIC INFORMATION.-
(1) IN GENERAL.-Subject to paragraph (2) and notwithstanding any other provision of law, the information contained in the records of contents of any airman certificate issued under this section that is limited to an airman's name, address, and ratings held shall be made available to the public after the 120th day following the date of the enactment of the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century.
(2) OPPORTUNITY TO WITHHOLD INFORMATION.-Before making any information concerning an airman available to the public under paragraph (1), the airman shall be given an opportunity to elect that the information not be made available to the public.
(3) DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF PROGRAM.-Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century, the Administrator shall develop and implement, in cooperation with representatives of the aviation industry, a one-time written notification to airmen to set forth the implications of making information concerning an airman available to the public under paragraph (1) and to carry out paragraph (2). The Administrator shall also provide such written notification to each individual who becomes an airman after such date of enactment.
(1) An individual whose application for the issuance or renewal of an airman certificate has been denied may appeal the denial to the National Transportation Safety Board, except if the individual holds a certificate that-
(A) is suspended at the time of denial; or
(B) was revoked within one year from the date of the denial.
(2) The Board shall conduct a hearing on the appeal at a place convenient to the place of residence or employment of the applicant. The Board is not bound by findings of fact of the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. At the end of the hearing, the Board shall decide whether the individual meets the applicable regulations and standards. The Administrator is bound by that decision.
(3) A person who is substantially affected by an order of the Board under this subsection, or the Administrator if the Administrator decides that an order of the Board will have a significant adverse impact on carrying out this subtitle, may seek judicial review of the order under section 46110. The Administrator shall be made a party to the judicial review proceedings. The findings of fact of the Board in any such case are conclusive if supported by substantial evidence.
(e) RESTRICTIONS AND PROHIBITIONS.-The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration may-
(1) restrict or prohibit issuing an airman certificate to an alien; or
(2) make issuing the certificate to an alien dependent on a reciprocal agreement with the government of a foreign country.
(f) CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE VIOLATIONS.-The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration may not issue an airman certificate to an individual whose certificate is revoked under section 44710 of this title except-
(1) when the Administrator decides that issuing the certificate will facilitate law enforcement efforts; and
(2) as provided in section 44710(e)(2) of this title.
(g) MODIFICATIONS IN SYSTEM.-
(1) The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall make modifications in the system for issuing airman certificates necessary to make the system more effective in serving the needs of airmen and officials responsible for enforcing laws related to the regulation of controlled substances (as defined in section 102 of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 ( 21 U.S.C. 802 )) and related to combating acts of terrorism. The modifications shall ensure positive and verifiable identification of each individual applying for or holding a certificate and shall address at least each of the following deficiencies in, and abuses of, the existing system:
(A) the use of fictitious names and addresses by applicants for those certificates.
(B) the use of stolen or fraudulent identification in applying for those certificates.
(C) the use by an applicant of a post office box or "mail drop" as a return address to evade identification of the applicant's address.
(D) the use of counterfeit and stolen airman certificates by pilots.
(E) the absence of information about physical characteristics of holders of those certificates.
(2) The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall prescribe regulations to carry out paragraph (1) of this subsection and provide a written explanation of how the regulations address each of the deficiencies and abuses described in paragraph (1). In prescribing the regulations, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall consult with the Administrator of Drug Enforcement, the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, other law enforcement officials of the United States Government, representatives of State and local law enforcement officials, representatives of the general aviation aircraft industry, representatives of users of general aviation aircraft, and other interested persons.
(3) For purposes of this section, the term "acts of terrorism" means an activity that involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life that is a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State, and appears to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion or to affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnaping.
(4) The Administrator is authorized and directed to work with State and local authorities, and other Federal agencies, to assist in the identification of individuals applying for or holding airmen certificates.
(h) RECORDS OF EMPLOYMENT OF PILOT APPLICANTS.-
(1) IN GENERAL.-Subject to paragraph (14), 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, records pertaining to the individual that are maintained by the Administrator concerning-
(i) current airman certificates (including airman medical certificates) and associated type ratings, including any limitations to those certificates and ratings; and
(ii) summaries of legal enforcement actions resulting in a finding by the Administrator of a violation of this title or a regulation prescribed or order issued under this title that was not subsequently overturned.
(B) AIR CARRIER AND OTHER RECORDS.-From any air carrier or other person (except a branch of the United States Armed Forces, the National Guard, or a reserve component of the United States Armed Forces) that has employed the individual as a pilot of a civil or public aircraft at any time during the 5-year period preceding the date of the employment application of the individual, or from the trustee in bankruptcy for such air carrier or person-
(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's performance as a pilot that are maintained by the air carrier or person 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 taken with respect to the individual that was not subsequently overturned; and
(III) any release from employment or resignation, termination, or disqualification with respect to employment.
(C) NATIONAL DRIVER REGISTER RECORDS.-In accordance with section 30305(b)(8) of this title, from the chief driver licensing official of a State, information concerning the motor vehicle driving record of the individual.
(2) WRITTEN CONSENT; RELEASE FROM LIABILITY.-An air carrier making a request for records under paragraph (1)-
(A) shall be required to obtain written consent to the release of those records from the individual that is the subject of the records requested; and
(B) may, notwithstanding any other provision of law or agreement to the contrary, require the individual who is the subject of the records to request to execute a release from liability for any claim arising from the furnishing of such records to or the use of such records by such air carrier (other than a claim arising from furnishing information known to be false and maintained in violation of a criminal statute).
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