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H.R. 636 (114th): FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016

The text of the bill below is as of Apr 19, 2016 (Passed the Senate with an Amendment).


114th CONGRESS

2d Session

H.R. 636

In the Senate of the United States,

April 19, 2016.

Amendments:

That the bill from the House of Representatives (H.R. 636) entitled An Act to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permanently extend increased expensing limitations, and for other purposes., do pass with the following

Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the following:

1.

Short title; table of contents

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents of this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. References to title 49, United States Code.

Sec. 3. Definition of appropriate committees of Congress.

Sec. 4. Effective date.

TITLE I—Authorizations

Subtitle A—Funding of FAA programs

Sec. 1001. Airport planning and development and noise compatibility planning and programs.

Sec. 1002. Air navigation facilities and equipment.

Sec. 1003. FAA operations.

Sec. 1004. FAA research and development.

Sec. 1005. Funding for aviation programs.

Sec. 1006. Extension of expiring authorities.

Subtitle B—Airport Improvement Program modifications

Sec. 1201. Small airport regulation relief.

Sec. 1202. Priority review of construction projects in cold weather States.

Sec. 1203. State block grants updates.

Sec. 1204. Contract Tower Program updates.

Sec. 1205. Approval of certain applications for the contract tower program.

Sec. 1206. Remote towers.

Sec. 1207. Midway Island airport.

Sec. 1208. Airport road funding.

Sec. 1209. Repeal of inherently low-emission airport vehicle pilot program.

Sec. 1210. Modification of zero-emission airport vehicles and infrastructure pilot program.

Sec. 1211. Repeal of airport ground support equipment emissions retrofit pilot program.

Sec. 1212. Funding eligibility for airport energy efficiency assessments.

Sec. 1213. Recycling plans; safety projects at unclassified airports.

Sec. 1214. Transfers of instrument landing systems.

Sec. 1215. Non-movement area surveillance pilot program.

Sec. 1216. Amendments to definitions.

Sec. 1217. Clarification of noise exposure map updates.

Sec. 1218. Provision of facilities.

Sec. 1219. Contract weather observers.

Sec. 1220. Federal share adjustment.

Sec. 1221. Miscellaneous technical amendments.

Sec. 1222. Mothers' rooms at airports.

Sec. 1223. Eligibility for airport development grants at airports that enter into certain leases with components of the Armed Forces.

Sec. 1224. Clarification of definition of aviation-related activity for hangar use.

Sec. 1225. Use of airport improvement program funds for runway safety repairs.

Sec. 1226. Definition of small business concern.

Subtitle C—Passenger facility charges

Sec. 1301. PFC streamlining.

Sec. 1302. Intermodal access projects.

Sec. 1303. Use of revenue at a previously associated airport.

Sec. 1304. Future aviation infrastructure and financing study.

TITLE II—Safety

Subtitle A—Unmanned aircraft systems reform

Sec. 2001. Definitions.

PART I—Privacy and transparency

Sec. 2101. Unmanned aircraft systems privacy policy.

Sec. 2102. Sense of Congress.

Sec. 2103. Federal Trade Commission authority.

Sec. 2104. National Telecommunications and Information Administration multi-stakeholder process.

Sec. 2105. Identification standards.

Sec. 2106. Commercial and governmental operators.

Sec. 2107. Analysis of current remedies under Federal, State, and local jurisdictions.

PART II—Unmanned aircraft systems

Sec. 2121. Definitions.

Sec. 2122. Utilization of unmanned aircraft system test sites.

Sec. 2123. Additional research, development, and testing.

Sec. 2124. Safety standards.

Sec. 2125. Unmanned aircraft systems in the Arctic.

Sec. 2126. Special authority for certain unmanned aircraft systems.

Sec. 2127. Additional rulemaking authority.

Sec. 2128. Governmental unmanned aircraft systems.

Sec. 2129. Special rules for model aircraft.

Sec. 2130. Unmanned aircraft systems aeronautical knowledge and safety.

Sec. 2131. Safety statements.

Sec. 2132. Treatment of unmanned aircraft operating underground.

Sec. 2133. Enforcement.

Sec. 2134. Aviation emergency safety public services disruption.

Sec. 2135. Pilot project for airport safety and airspace hazard mitigation.

Sec. 2136. Contribution to financing of regulatory functions.

Sec. 2137. Sense of Congress regarding small UAS rulemaking.

Sec. 2138. Unmanned aircraft systems traffic management.

Sec. 2139. Emergency exemption process.

Sec. 2140. Public UAS operations by tribal governments.

Sec. 2141. Carriage of property by small unmanned aircraft systems for compensation or hire.

Sec. 2142. Collegiate Training Initiative program for unmanned aircraft systems.

Sec. 2143. Incorporation of Federal Aviation Administration occupations relating to unmanned aircraft into veterans employment programs of the Administration.

PART III—Transition and savings provisions

Sec. 2151. Senior advisor for unmanned aircraft systems integration.

Sec. 2152. Effect on other laws.

Sec. 2153. Spectrum.

Sec. 2154. Applications for designation.

Sec. 2155. Use of unmanned aircraft systems at institutions of higher education.

Sec. 2156. Transition language.

PART IV—Operator safety

Sec. 2161. Short title.

Sec. 2162. Findings; sense of Congress.

Sec. 2163. Unsafe operation of unmanned aircraft.

Subtitle B—FAA safety certification reform

PART I—General provisions

Sec. 2211. Definitions.

Sec. 2212. Safety oversight and certification advisory committee.

PART II—Aircraft certification reform

Sec. 2221. Aircraft certification performance objectives and metrics.

Sec. 2222. Organization designation authorizations.

Sec. 2223. ODA review.

Sec. 2224. Type certification resolution process.

Sec. 2225. Safety enhancing technologies for small general aviation airplanes.

Sec. 2226. Streamlining certification of small general aviation airplanes.

PART III—Flight standards reform

Sec. 2231. Flight standards performance objectives and metrics.

Sec. 2232. FAA task force on flight standards reform.

Sec. 2233. Centralized safety guidance database.

Sec. 2234. Regulatory Consistency Communications Board.

Sec. 2235. Flight standards service realignment feasibility report.

Sec. 2236. Additional certification resources.

PART IV—Safety workforce

Sec. 2241. Safety workforce training strategy.

Sec. 2242. Workforce study.

PART V—International aviation

Sec. 2251. Promotion of United States aerospace standards, products, and services abroad.

Sec. 2252. Bilateral exchanges of safety oversight responsibilities.

Sec. 2253. FAA leadership abroad.

Sec. 2254. Registration, certification, and related fees.

Subtitle C—Airline passenger safety and protections

Sec. 2301. Pilot records database deadline.

Sec. 2302. Access to air carrier flight decks.

Sec. 2303. Aircraft tracking and flight data.

Sec. 2304. Automation reliance improvements.

Sec. 2305. Enhanced mental health screening for pilots.

Sec. 2306. Flight attendant duty period limitations and rest requirements.

Sec. 2307. Training to combat human trafficking for certain air carrier employees.

Sec. 2308. Report on obsolete test equipment.

Sec. 2309. Plan for systems to provide direct warnings of potential runway incursions.

Sec. 2310. Laser pointer incidents.

Sec. 2311. Helicopter air ambulance operations data and reports.

Sec. 2312. Part 135 accident and incident data.

Sec. 2313. Definition of human factors.

Sec. 2314. Sense of Congress; pilot in command authority.

Sec. 2315. Enhancing ASIAS.

Sec. 2316. Improving runway safety.

Sec. 2317. Safe air transportation of lithium cells and batteries.

Sec. 2318. Prohibition on implementation of policy change to permit small, non-locking knives on aircraft.

Sec. 2319. Aircraft cabin evacuation procedures.

Sec. 2320. GAO study of universal deployment of advanced imaging technologies.

Subtitle D—General aviation safety

Sec. 2401. Automated weather observing systems policy.

Sec. 2402. Tower marking.

Sec. 2403. Crash-resistant fuel systems.

Sec. 2404. Requirement to consult with stakeholders in defining scope and requirements for Future Flight Service Program.

Sec. 2405. Heads-up guidance system technologies.

Subtitle E—General provisions

Sec. 2501. Designated agency safety and health officer.

Sec. 2502. Repair stations located outside United States.

Sec. 2503. FAA technical training.

Sec. 2504. Safety critical staffing.

Sec. 2505. Approach control radar in all air traffic control towers.

Sec. 2506. Airspace management advisory committee.

Subtitle F—Third class medical reform and general aviation pilot protections

Sec. 2601. Short title.

Sec. 2602. Medical certification of certain small aircraft pilots.

Sec. 2603. Expansion of pilot's bill of rights.

Sec. 2604. Limitations on reexamination of certificate holders.

Sec. 2605. Expediting updates to NOTAM program.

Sec. 2606. Accessibility of certain flight data.

Sec. 2607. Authority for legal counsel to issue certain notices.

TITLE III—Air service improvements

Sec. 3001. Definitions.

Subtitle A—Passenger air service improvements

Sec. 3101. Causes of airline delays or cancellations.

Sec. 3102. Involuntary changes to itineraries.

Sec. 3103. Additional consumer protections.

Sec. 3104. Addressing the needs of families of passengers involved in aircraft accidents.

Sec. 3105. Emergency medical kits.

Sec. 3106. Travelers with disabilities.

Sec. 3107. Extension of Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection.

Sec. 3108. Extension of competitive access reports.

Sec. 3109. Refunds for delayed baggage.

Sec. 3110. Refunds for other fees that are not honored by a covered air carrier.

Sec. 3111. Disclosure of fees to consumers.

Sec. 3112. Seat assignments.

Sec. 3113. Lasting improvements to family travel.

Sec. 3114. Consumer complaint process improvement.

Sec. 3115. Online access to aviation consumer protection information.

Sec. 3116. Study on in cabin wheelchair restraint systems.

Sec. 3117. Training policies regarding assistance for persons with disabilities.

Sec. 3118. Advisory committee on the air travel needs of passengers with disabilities.

Sec. 3119. Report on covered air carrier change, cancellation, and baggage fees.

Sec. 3120. Enforcement of aviation consumer protection rules.

Sec. 3121. Dimensions for passenger seats.

Sec. 3122. Cell phone voice communications.

Sec. 3123. Availability of slots for new entrant air carriers at Newark Liberty International Airport.

Subtitle B—Essential air service

Sec. 3201. Essential air service.

Sec. 3202. Small community air service development program.

Sec. 3203. Small community program amendments.

Sec. 3204. Waivers.

Sec. 3205. Working group on improving air service to small communities.

TITLE IV—NextGen and FAA organization

Sec. 4001. Definitions.

Subtitle A—Next Generation Air Transportation System

Sec. 4101. Return on investment assessment.

Sec. 4102. Ensuring FAA readiness to use new technology.

Sec. 4103. NextGen annual performance goals.

Sec. 4104. Facility outage contingency plans.

Sec. 4105. ADS–B mandate assessment.

Sec. 4106. Nextgen interoperability.

Sec. 4107. NextGen transition management.

Sec. 4108. Implementation of NextGen operational improvements.

Sec. 4109. Cybersecurity.

Sec. 4110. Securing aircraft avionics systems.

Sec. 4111. Defining NextGen.

Sec. 4112. Human factors.

Sec. 4113. Major acquisition reports.

Sec. 4114. Equipage mandates.

Sec. 4115. Workforce.

Sec. 4116. Architectural leadership.

Sec. 4117. Programmatic risk management.

Sec. 4118. NextGen prioritization.

Subtitle B—Administration organization and employees

Sec. 4201. Cost-saving initiatives.

Sec. 4202. Treatment of essential employees during furloughs.

Sec. 4203. Controller candidate interviews.

Sec. 4204. Hiring of air traffic controllers.

Sec. 4205. Computation of basic annuity for certain air traffic controllers.

Sec. 4206. Air traffic services at aviation events.

Sec. 4207. Full annuity supplement for certain air traffic controllers.

Sec. 4208. Inclusion of disabled veteran leave in Federal Aviation Administration personnel management system.

TITLE V—Miscellaneous

Sec. 5001. National Transportation Safety Board investigative officers.

Sec. 5002. Performance-Based Navigation.

Sec. 5003. Overflights of national parks.

Sec. 5004. Navigable airspace analysis for commercial space launch site runways.

Sec. 5005. Survey and report on spaceport development.

Sec. 5006. Aviation fuel.

Sec. 5007. Comprehensive Aviation Preparedness Plan.

Sec. 5008. Advanced Materials Center of Excellence.

Sec. 5009. Interference with airline employees.

Sec. 5010. Secondary cockpit barriers.

Sec. 5011. GAO evaluation and audit.

Sec. 5012. Federal Aviation Administration performance measures and targets.

Sec. 5013. Staffing of certain air traffic control towers.

Sec. 5014. Critical airfield markings.

Sec. 5015. Research and deployment of certain airfield pavement technologies.

Sec. 5016. Report on general aviation flight sharing.

Sec. 5017. Increase in duration of general aviation aircraft registration.

Sec. 5018. Modification of limitation of liability relating to aircraft.

Sec. 5019. Government Accountability Office study of illegal drugs seized at international airports in the United States.

Sec. 5020. Sense of Congress on preventing the transportation of disease-carrying mosquitoes and other insects on commercial aircraft.

Sec. 5021. Work plan for the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia metroplex program.

Sec. 5022. Report on plans for air traffic control facilities in the New York City and Newark region.

Sec. 5023. GAO study of international airline alliances.

Sec. 5024. Treatment of multi-year lessees of large and turbine-powered multiengine aircraft.

Sec. 5025. Evaluation of emerging technologies.

Sec. 5026. Student outreach report.

Sec. 5027. Right to privacy when using air traffic control system.

Sec. 5028. Conduct of security screening by the Transportation Security Administration at certain airports.

Sec. 5029. Aviation cybersecurity.

Sec. 5030. Prohibitions against smoking on passenger flights.

Sec. 5031. National multimodal freight advisory committee.

Sec. 5032. Technical and conforming amendments.

Sec. 5033. Visible Deterrent.

Sec. 5034. Law enforcement training for mass casualty and active shooter incidents.

Sec. 5035. Assistance to airports and surface transportation systems.

Sec. 5036. Authorization of certain flights by Stage 2 airplanes.

TITLE VI—Transportation security and terrorism prevention

Subtitle A—Airport Security Enhancement and Oversight Act

Sec. 6101. Short title.

Sec. 6102. Findings.

Sec. 6103. Definitions.

Sec. 6104. Threat assessment.

Sec. 6105. Oversight.

Sec. 6106. Credentials.

Sec. 6107. Vetting.

Sec. 6108. Metrics.

Sec. 6109. Inspections and assessments.

Sec. 6110. Covert testing.

Sec. 6111. Security directives.

Sec. 6112. Implementation report.

Sec. 6113. Miscellaneous amendments.

Subtitle B—TSA PreCheck Expansion Act

Sec. 6201. Short title.

Sec. 6202. Definitions.

Sec. 6203. PreCheck Program authorization.

Sec. 6204. PreCheck Program enrollment expansion.

Subtitle C—Securing Aviation from Foreign Entry Points and Guarding Airports Through Enhanced Security Act of 2016

Sec. 6301. Short title.

Sec. 6302. Last point of departure airport security assessment.

Sec. 6303. Security coordination enhancement plan.

Sec. 6304. Workforce assessment.

Sec. 6305. Donation of screening equipment to protect the United States.

Sec. 6306. National cargo security program.

Subtitle D—Miscellaneous

Sec. 6401. International training and capacity development.

Sec. 6402. Checkpoints of the future.

TITLE VII—Airport and airway trust fund provisions and related taxes

Sec. 7101. Expenditure authority from Airport and Airway Trust Fund.

Sec. 7102. Extension of taxes funding Airport and Airway Trust Fund.

2.

References to title 49, United States Code

Except as otherwise expressly provided, wherever in this Act an amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to, or repeal of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other provision of title 49, United States Code.

3.

Definition of appropriate committees of Congress

In this Act, unless expressly provided otherwise, the term appropriate committees of Congress means the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.

4.

Effective date

Except as otherwise expressly provided, this Act and the amendments made by this Act shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act.

I

Authorizations

A

Funding of FAA programs

1001.

Airport planning and development and noise compatibility planning and programs

(a)

Authorization

Section 48103(a) is amended by striking section 47505(a)(2), and carrying out noise compatibility programs under section 47504(c) $3,350,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2012 through 2015 and $2,652,083,333 for the period beginning on October 1, 2015, and ending on July 15, 2016 and inserting section 47505(a)(2), carrying out noise compatibility programs under section 47504(c), for an airport cooperative research program under section 44511, for Airports Technology-Safety research, and Airports Technology-Efficiency research, $3,350,000,000 for fiscal year 2016 and $3,750,000,000 for fiscal year 2017.

(b)

Obligational authority

Section 47104(c) is amended in the matter preceding paragraph (1) by striking July 15, 2016 and inserting September 30, 2017.

1002.

Air navigation facilities and equipment

Section 48101(a) is amended by striking paragraphs (1) through (5) and inserting the following:

(1)

$2,855,241,025 for fiscal year 2016.

(2)

$2,862,020,524 for fiscal year 2017.

.

1003.

FAA operations

(a)

In general

Section 106(k)(1) is amended by striking subparagraphs (A) through (E) and inserting the following:

(A)

$9,910,009,314 for fiscal year 2016; and

(B)

$10,025,361,111 for fiscal year 2017.

.

(b)

Authorized expenditures

Section 106(k)(2) is amended by striking for fiscal years 2012 through 2015 each place it appears and inserting for fiscal years 2016 through 2017.

(c)

Authority To transfer funds

Section 106(k)(3) is amended by striking 2012 through 2015 and for the period beginning on October 1, 2015, and ending on July 15, 2016 and inserting 2016 through 2017.

1004.

FAA research and development

Section 48102 is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)—

(A)

in the matter preceding paragraph (1)—

(i)

by striking 44511–44513 and inserting 44512–44513; and

(ii)

by striking and, for each of fiscal years 2012 through 2015, under subsection (g);

(B)

in paragraph (8), by striking ; and and inserting a semicolon; and

(C)

by striking paragraph (9) and inserting the following:

(9)

$166,000,000 for fiscal year 2016; and

(10)

$169,000,000 for fiscal year 2017.

; and

(2)

in subsection (b), by striking paragraph (3).

1005.

Funding for aviation programs

(a)

Airport and airway trust fund guarantee

Section 48114(a)(1)(A) is amended to read as follows:

(A)

In general

The total budget resources made available from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund each fiscal year under sections 48101, 48102, 48103, and 106(k)—

(i)

shall in each of fiscal years 2016 through 2017, be equal to the sum of—

(I)

90 percent of the estimated level of receipts plus interest credited to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund for that fiscal year; and

(II)

the actual level of receipts plus interest credited to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund for the second preceding fiscal year minus the total amount made available for obligation from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund for the second preceding fiscal year; and

(ii)

may be used only for the aviation investment programs listed in subsection (b)(1).

.

(b)

Enforcement of guarantees

Section 48114(c)(2) is amended by striking 2016 and inserting 2017.

1006.

Extension of expiring authorities

(a)

Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau

Section 47115(j) is amended by striking 2015 and for the period beginning on October 1, 2015, and ending on July 15, 2016, and inserting 2017.

(b)

Extension of compatible land use planning and projects by State and local governments

Section 47141(f) is amended by striking July 15, 2016 and inserting September 30, 2017.

(c)

Inspector General Report on Participation in FAA Programs by Disadvantaged Small Business Concerns

(1)

In general

For each of fiscal years 2016 through 2017, the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation shall submit to Congress a report on the number of new small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, including those owned by veterans, that participated in the programs and activities funded using the amounts made available under this Act.

(2)

New small business concerns

For purposes of paragraph (1), a new small business concern is a small business concern that did not participate in the programs and activities described in paragraph (1) in a previous fiscal year.

(3)

Contents

The report shall include—

(A)

a list of the top 25 and bottom 25 large and medium hub airports in terms of providing opportunities for small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals to participate in the programs and activities funded using the amounts made available under this Act;

(B)

the results of an assessment, to be conducted by the Inspector General, on the reasons why the top airports have been successful in providing such opportunities; and

(C)

recommendations to the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and Congress on methods for other airports to achieve results similar to those of the top airports.

(d)

Extension of Pilot Program for Redevelopment of Airport Properties

Section 822(k) of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 47141 note) is amended by striking July 15, 2016 and inserting September 30, 2017.

B

Airport Improvement Program modifications

1201.

Small airport regulation relief

Section 47114(c)(1)(F) is amended to read as follows:

(F)

Special rule for fiscal years 2016 through 2017

Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall apportion to a sponsor of an airport under that subparagraph for each of fiscal years 2016 through 2017 an amount based on the number of passenger boardings at the airport during calendar year 2012 if the airport—

(i)

had 10,000 or more passenger boardings during calendar year 2012;

(ii)

had fewer than 10,000 passenger boardings during the calendar year used to calculate the apportionment for fiscal year 2016 or 2017 under subparagraph (A); and

(iii)

had scheduled air service in the calendar year used to calculate the apportionment.

.

1202.

Priority review of construction projects in cold weather States

(a)

In general

The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, to the extent practicable, shall schedule the Administrator’s review of construction projects so that projects to be carried out in the States in which the weather during a typical calendar year prevents major construction projects from being carried out before May 1 are reviewed as early as possible.

(b)

Report

The Administrator shall update the appropriate committees of Congress annually on the effectiveness of the review and prioritization.

1203.

State block grants updates

Section 47128(a) is amended by striking 9 qualified States for fiscal years 2000 and 2001 and 10 qualified States for each fiscal year thereafter and inserting 15 qualified States for fiscal year 2016 and each fiscal year thereafter.

1204.

Contract Tower Program updates

(a)

Special rule

Section 47124(b)(1)(B) is amended by striking after such determination is made and inserting after the end of the period described in subsection (d)(6)(C).

(b)

Contract Air Traffic Control Tower Cost-Share Program; funding

Section 47124(b)(3)(E) is amended to read as follows:

(E)

Funding

Of the amounts appropriated under section 106(k)(1), such sums as may be necessary may be used to carry out this paragraph.

.

(c)

Cap on Federal share of cost of construction

Section 47124(b)(4)(C) is amended by striking $2,000,000 and inserting $4,000,000.

(d)

Cost benefit ratio revision

Section 47124 is amended by adding at the end the following:

(d)

Cost benefit ratios

(1)

Contract air traffic control tower program at cost-share airports

Beginning on the date of enactment of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, if an air traffic control tower is operating under the Cost-share Program, the Secretary shall annually calculate a new benefit-to-cost ratio for the tower.

(2)

Contract tower program at non-cost-share airports

Beginning on the date of enactment of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, if a tower is operating under the Contract Tower Program and continued under subsection (b)(1), the Secretary shall not calculate a new benefit-to-cost ratio for the tower unless the annual aircraft traffic at the airport where the tower is located decreases by more than 25 percent from the previous year or by more than 60 percent over a 3-year period.

(3)

Considerations

In establishing a benefit-to-cost ratio under paragraph (1) or paragraph (2), the Secretary may consider only the following costs:

(A)

The Federal Aviation Administration's actual cost of wages and benefits of personnel working at the tower.

(B)

The Federal Aviation Administration's actual telecommunications costs of the tower.

(C)

Relocation and replacement costs of equipment of the Federal Aviation Administration associated with the tower, if paid for by the Federal Aviation Administration.

(D)

Logistics, such as direct costs associated with establishing or updating the tower's interface with other systems and equipment of the Federal Aviation Administration, if paid for by the Federal Aviation Administration.

(4)

Exclusions

In establishing a benefit-to-cost ratio under paragraph (1) or paragraph (2), the Secretary may not consider the following costs:

(A)

Airway facilities costs, including labor and other costs associated with maintaining and repairing the systems and equipment of the Federal Aviation Administration.

(B)

Costs for depreciating the building and equipment owned by the Federal Aviation Administration.

(C)

Indirect overhead costs of the Federal Aviation Administration.

(D)

Costs for utilities, janitorial, and other services paid for or provided by the airport or the State or political subdivision of a State having jurisdiction over the airport where the tower is located.

(E)

The cost of new or replacement equipment, or construction of a new or replacement tower, if the costs incurred were incurred by the airport or the State or political subdivision of a State having jurisdiction over the airport where the tower is or will be located.

(F)

Other expenses of the Federal Aviation Administration not directly associated with the actual operation of the tower.

(5)

Margin of error

The Secretary shall add a 5 percent margin of error to a benefit-to-cost ratio determination to acknowledge and account for any direct or indirect factors that are not included in the criteria the Secretary used in calculating the benefit-to-cost ratio.

(6)

Procedures

The Secretary shall establish procedures—

(A)

to allow an airport or the State or political subdivision of a State having jurisdiction over the airport where the tower is located not less than 90 days following the receipt of an initial benefit-to-cost ratio determination from the Secretary—

(i)

to request the Secretary reconsider that determination; and

(ii)

to submit updated or additional data to the Secretary in support of the reconsideration;

(B)

to allow the Secretary not more than 90 days to review the data submitted under subparagraph (A)(ii) and respond to the request under subparagraph (A)(i);

(C)

to allow the airport, State, or political subdivision of a State, as applicable, 30 days following the date of the response under subparagraph (B) to review the response before any action is taken based on a benefit-to-cost determination; and

(D)

to provide, after the end of the period described in subparagraph (C), an 18-month grace period before cost-share payments are due from the airport, State, or political subdivision of a State if as a result of the benefit-to-cost ratio determination the airport, State, or political subdivision, as applicable, is required to transition to the Cost-share Program.

(e)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Contract Tower Program

The term Contract Tower Program means the level I air traffic control tower contract program established under subsection (a) and continued under subsection (b)(1).

(2)

Cost-share Program

The term Cost-share Program means the cost-share program established under subsection (b)(3).

.

(e)

Conforming amendments

Section 47124(b) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1)(C), by striking the program established under paragraph (3) and inserting the Cost-share Program;

(2)

in paragraph (3)—

(A)

in the heading, by striking Contract air traffic control tower program and inserting Cost-share program;

(B)

in subparagraph (A), by striking contract tower program established under subsection (a) and continued under paragraph (1) (in this paragraph referred to as the Contract Tower Program) and inserting Contract Tower Program;

(C)

in subparagraph (B), by striking In carrying out the program and inserting In carrying out the Cost-share Program;

(D)

in subparagraph (C), by striking participate in the program and inserting participate in the Cost-share Program;

(E)

in subparagraph (D), by striking under the program and inserting under the Cost-share Program; and

(F)

in subparagraph (F), by striking the program continued under paragraph (1) and inserting the Contract Tower Program; and

(3)

in paragraph (4)(B)(i)(I), by striking contract tower program established under subsection (a) and continued under paragraph (1) or the pilot program established under paragraph (3) and inserting Contract Tower Program or the Cost-share Program.

(f)

Exemption

Section 47124(b)(3)(D) is amended by adding at the end the following: Airports with both Part 121 air service and more than 25,000 passenger enplanements in calendar year 2014 shall be exempt from any cost share requirement under the Cost-share Program..

(g)

Savings provision

Notwithstanding the amendments made by this section, the towers for which assistance is being provided under section 41724 of title 49, United States Code, on the day before the date of enactment of this Act may continue to be provided such assistance under the terms of that section as in effect on that day.

1205.

Approval of certain applications for the contract tower program

(a)

In general

If the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration has not implemented a revised cost-benefit methodology for purposes of determining eligibility for the Contract Tower Program before the date that is 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, any air traffic control tower with an application for participation in the Contract Tower Program pending as of January 1, 2016, shall be approved for participation in the Contract Tower Program if the Administrator determines the tower is eligible under the criteria set forth in the Federal Aviation Administration report, Establishment and Discontinuance Criteria for Airport Traffic Control Towers, dated August 1990 (FAA–APO–90–7).

(b)

Requests for additional authority

The Administrator shall respond not later than 30 days after the date the Administrator receives a formal request from an airport and air traffic control contractor for additional authority to expand contract tower operational hours and staff to accommodate flight traffic outside of current tower operational hours.

(c)

Definition of Contract Tower Program

In this section, the term Contract Tower Program has the meaning given the term in section 47124(e) of title 49, United States Code.

1206.

Remote towers

(a)

Pilot program

(1)

Establishment

The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall establish—

(A)

in consultation with airport operators and general aviation users, a pilot program at public-use airports to construct and operate remote towers; and

(B)

a selection process for participation in the pilot program.

(2)

Safety considerations

In establishing the pilot program, the Administrator shall consult with operators of remote towers in foreign countries to design the pilot program in a manner that leverages as many safety and airspace efficiency benefits as possible.

(3)

Requirements

In selecting the airports for participation in the pilot program, the Administrator shall—

(A)

to the extent practicable, ensure that at least 2 different vendors of remote tower systems participate;

(B)

include at least 1 airport currently in the Contract Tower Program and at least 1 airport that does not have an air traffic control tower; and

(C)

clearly identify the research questions that will be addressed at each airport.

(4)

Research

In selecting an airport for participation in the pilot program, the Administrator shall consider—

(A)

how inclusion of that airport will add research value to assist the Administrator in evaluating the feasibility, safety, and cost-benefits of remote towers;

(B)

the amount and variety of air traffic at an airport; and

(C)

the costs and benefits of including that airport.

(5)

Data

The Administrator shall clearly identify and collect air traffic control information and data from participating airports that will assist the Administrator in evaluating the feasibility, safety, and cost-benefits of remote towers.

(6)

Report

Not later than 1 year after the date the first remote tower is operational, and annually thereafter, the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report—

(A)

detailing any benefits, costs, or safety improvements associated with the use of the remote towers; and

(B)

evaluating the feasibility of using remote towers, particularly in the Contract Tower Program and for airports without any air traffic control tower, or to improve safety at airports with towers.

(7)

Deadline

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall select airports for participation in the pilot program.

(8)

Definitions

In this subsection:

(A)

Contract Tower Program

The term Contract Tower Program has the meaning given the term in section 47124(e) of title 49, United States Code.

(B)

Remote tower

The term remote tower means a system whereby air traffic services are provided to operators at an airport from a location that may not be on or near the airport.

(b)

AIP funding eligibility

For purposes of the pilot program under subsection (a), and after certificated systems are available, constructing a remote tower or acquiring and installing air traffic control, communications, or related equipment for a remote tower shall be considered airport development (as defined in section 47102 of title 49, United States Code) for purposes of subchapter I of chapter 471 of that title if components are installed and used at the airport, except for off-airport sensors installed on leased towers, as needed.

1207.

Midway Island airport

Section 186(d) of the Vision 100—Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act (Public Law 108–176; 117 Stat. 2518) is amended by striking “and for the period beginning on October 1, 2015, and ending on July 15, 2016,” and inserting “and for fiscal years 2016 through 2017”.

1208.

Airport road funding

(a)

Airport development grant assurances

Section 47107(b) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(4)

This subsection does not prevent the use of airport revenue for the maintenance and improvement of the on-airport portion of a surface transportation facility providing access to an airport and non-airport locations if the surface transportation facility is owned or operated by the airport owner or operator and the use of airport revenue is prorated to airport use and limited to portions of the facility located on the airport. The Secretary shall determine the maximum percentage contribution of airport revenue toward surface transportation facility maintenance or improvement, taking into consideration the current and projected use of the surface transportation facility located on the airport for airport and non-airport purposes. The de minimus use, as determined by the Secretary, of a surface transportation facility for non-airport purposes shall not require prorating.

.

(b)

Restrictions on the use of airport revenue

Section 47133(c) is amended—

(1)

by inserting (1) before Nothing and indenting appropriately; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following:

(2)

Nothing in this section may be construed to prevent the use of airport revenue for the prorated maintenance and improvement costs of the on-airport portion of the surface transportation facility, subject to the provisions of section 47107(b)(4).

.

1209.

Repeal of inherently low-emission airport vehicle pilot program

(a)

Repeal

Section 47136 is repealed.

(b)

Technical and conforming amendments

The table of contents for chapter 471 is amended by striking the item relating to section 47136 and inserting the following:

47136. [Reserved].

.

1210.

Modification of zero-emission airport vehicles and infrastructure pilot program

Section 47136a is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a), by striking , including and inserting used exclusively for transporting passengers on-airport or for employee shuttle buses within the airport, including; and

(2)

in subsection (f), by inserting , as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, after section 47136.

1211.

Repeal of airport ground support equipment emissions retrofit pilot program

(a)

Repeal

Section 47140 is repealed.

(b)

Technical and conforming amendments

The table of contents for chapter 471 is amended by striking the item relating to section 47140 and inserting the following:

47140. [Reserved].

.

1212.

Funding eligibility for airport energy efficiency assessments

(a)

Cost reimbursements

Section 47140a(a) is amended by striking airport. and inserting airport, and to reimburse the airport sponsor for the costs incurred in conducting the assessment..

(b)

Safety priority

Section 47140a(b)(2) is amended by inserting , including a certification that no safety projects would be deferred by prioritizing a grant under this section, after an application.

1213.

Recycling plans; safety projects at unclassified airports

Section 47106(a) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (5), by striking ; and and inserting a semicolon;

(2)

in paragraph (6)—

(A)

in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking for an airport that has an airport master plan, the master plan addresses and inserting a master plan project, it will address; and

(B)

in subparagraph (E), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following:

(7)

if the project is at an unclassified airport, the project will be funded with an amount apportioned under subsection 47114(d)(3)(B) and is—

(A)

for maintenance of the pavement of the primary runway;

(B)

for obstruction removal for the primary runway;

(C)

for the rehabilitation of the primary runway; or

(D)

a project that the Secretary considers necessary for the safe operation of the airport.

.

1214.

Transfers of instrument landing systems

Section 44502(e) is amended by striking the first sentence and inserting An airport may transfer, without consideration, to the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration an instrument landing system consisting of a glide slope and localizer that conforms to performance specifications of the Administrator if an airport improvement project grant was used to assist in purchasing the system, and if the Federal Aviation Administration has determined that a satellite navigation system cannot provide a suitable approach..

1215.

Non-movement area surveillance pilot program

(a)

In general

Subchapter I of chapter 471 is amended by adding at the end the following:

47143.

Non-movement area surveillance surface display systems pilot program

(a)

In general

The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration may carry out a pilot program to support non-Federal acquisition and installation of qualifying non-movement area surveillance surface display systems and sensors if—

(1)

the Administrator determines that acquisition and installation of qualifying non-movement area surveillance surface display systems and sensors improve safety or capacity in the National Airspace System; and

(2)

the non-movement area surveillance surface display systems and sensors are supplemental to existing movement area systems and sensors at the selected airports established under other programs administered by the Administrator.

(b)

Project grants

(1)

In general

For purposes of carrying out the pilot program, the Administrator may make a project grant out of funds apportioned under paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) of section 47114(c) to not more than 5 eligible sponsors to acquire and install qualifying non-movement area surveillance surface display systems and sensors. The Administrator may distribute not more than $2,000,000 per sponsor from the discretionary fund. The airports selected to participate in the pilot program shall have existing Federal Aviation Administration movement area systems and airlines that are participants in Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Collaborative Decision Making process.

(2)

Procedures

In accordance with the authority under section 106, the Administrator may establish procurement procedures applicable to grants issued under this subsection. The procedures may permit the sponsor to carry out the project with vendors that have been accepted in the procurement procedure or using Federal Aviation Administration contracts. The procedures may provide for the direct reimbursement (including administrative costs) of the Administrator by the sponsor using grant funds under this subsection, for the ordering of system-related equipment and its installation, or for the direct ordering of system-related equipment and its installation by the sponsor, using such grant funds, from the suppliers with which the Administrator has contracted.

(3)

Data exchange processes

The Administrator may establish data exchange processes to allow airport participation in the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Collaborative Decision Making process and fusion of the non-movement surveillance data with the Administration's movement area systems.

(c)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Non-movement area

The term non-movement area is the portion of the airfield surface that is not under the control of air traffic control.

(2)

Non-movement area surveillance surface display system and sensors

The term non-movement area surveillance surface display system and sensors is a non-Federal surveillance system that uses on-airport sensors that track vehicles or aircraft that are equipped with transponders in the non-movement area.

(3)

Qualifying non-movement area surveillance surface display system and sensors

The term qualifying non-movement area surveillance surface display system and sensors is a non-movement area surveillance surface display system that—

(A)

provides the required transmit and receive data formats consistent with the National Airspace System architecture at the appropriate service delivery point;

(B)

is on-airport; and

(C)

is airport operated.

.

(b)

Technical and conforming amendments

The table of contents of chapter 471 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 47142 the following:

47143. Non-movement area surveillance surface display systems pilot program.

.

1216.

Amendments to definitions

Section 47102 is amended—

(1)

by redesignating paragraphs (10) through (28) as paragraphs (12) through (30), respectively;

(2)

by redesignating paragraphs (7) through (9) as paragraphs (8) through (10), respectively;

(3)

in paragraph (3)—

(A)

in subparagraph (B)—

(i)

by redesignating clauses (iii) through (x) as clauses (iv) through (xi), respectively; and

(ii)

by striking clause (ii) and inserting the following:

(II)

security equipment owned and operated by the airport, including explosive detection devices, universal access control systems, perimeter fencing, and emergency call boxes, which the Secretary may require by regulation for, or approve as contributing significantly to, the security of individuals and property at the airport;

(III)

safety apparatus owned and operated by the airport, which the Secretary may require by regulation for, or approve as contributing significantly to, the safety of individuals and property at the airport, and integrated in-pavement lighting systems for runways and taxiways and other runway and taxiway incursion prevention devices;

;

(B)

in subparagraph (K), by striking such project will result in an airport receiving appropriate and inserting the airport would be able to receive; and

(C)

in subparagraph (L)—

(i)

by striking or conversion of vehicles and and inserting of vehicles used exclusively for transporting passengers on-airport, employee shuttle buses within the airport, or;

(ii)

by striking airport, to and inserting airport and equipped with; and

(iii)

by striking 7505a) and if such project will result in an airport receiving appropriate and inserting 7505a)) and if the airport would be able to receive;

(4)

in paragraph (5), by striking regulations and inserting requirements;

(5)

by inserting after paragraph (6) the following:

(7)

categorized airport means a nonprimary airport that has an identified role in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems.

;

(6)

in paragraph (9), as redesignated, by striking public and inserting public-use;

(7)

by inserting after paragraph (10), as redesignated, the following:

(11)

joint use airport means an airport owned by the Department of Defense, at which both military and civilian aircraft make shared use of the airfield.

;

(8)

in paragraph (24), as redesignated, by amending subparagraph (B)(i) to read as follows:

(i)

determined by the Secretary to have at least—

(I)

100 based aircraft that are currently registered with the Federal Aviation Administration under chapter 445 of this title; and

(II)

1 based jet aircraft that is currently registered with the Federal Aviation Administration where, for the purposes of this clause, based means the aircraft or jet aircraft overnights at the airport for the greater part of the year; or

; and

(9)

by adding at the end the following:

(31)

unclassified airport means a nonprimary airport that is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems that is not categorized by the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration in the most current report entitled General Aviation Airports: A National Asset.

.

1217.

Clarification of noise exposure map updates

Section 47503(b) is amended—

(1)

by striking a change in the operation of the airport would establish and inserting there is a change in the operation of the airport that would establish; and

(2)

by inserting after reduction the following:

if the change has occurred during the longer of—

(1)

the noise exposure map period forecast by the airport operator under subsection (a); or

(2)

the implementation timeframe of the operator’s noise compatibility program

.

1218.

Provision of facilities

Section 44502 is amended by adding at the end the following:

(f)

Airport space

(1)

Restriction

The Administrator may not require an airport owner or sponsor (as defined in section 47102) to provide to the Federal Aviation Administration without cost any of the following:

(A)

Building construction, maintenance, utilities, or expenses for services relating to air traffic control, air navigation, or weather reporting.

(B)

Space in a facility owned by the airport owner or sponsor for services relating to air traffic control, air navigation, or weather reporting.

(2)

Rule of construction

Nothing in this subsection may be construed to affect—

(A)

any agreement the Secretary may have or make with an airport owner or sponsor for the airport owner or sponsor to provide any of the items described in subparagraph (A) or subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) at below-market rates; or

(B)

any grant assurance that requires an airport owner or sponsor to provide land to the Administration without cost for an air traffic control facility.

.

1219.

Contract weather observers

(a)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report—

(1)

which includes public and stakeholder input, and examines all safety risks, hazard effects, efficiency and operational effects on airports, airlines, and other stakeholders that could result from loss of contract weather observer service at the 57 airports targeted for the loss of this service;

(2)

detailing how the Federal Aviation Administration will accurately report rapidly changing severe weather conditions at these airports, including thunderstorms, lightning, fog, visibility, smoke, dust, haze, cloud layers and ceilings, ice pellets, and freezing rain or drizzle without contract weather observers;

(3)

indicating how airports can comply with applicable Federal Aviation Administration orders governing weather observations given the current documented limitations of automated surface observing systems; and

(4)

identifying the process through which the Federal Aviation Administration analyzed the safety hazards associated with the elimination of the contract weather observer program.

(b)

Continued use of contract weather observers

The Administrator may not discontinue the contract weather observer program at any airport until October 1, 2017.

(c)

Report on golden triangle initiative of NOAA

(1)

Report required

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall jointly submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the Golden Triangle Initiative of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

(2)

Elements

The report shall include the following:

(A)

An assessment of the impacts of enhanced aviation forecast services provided as part of the Golden Triangle Initiative on weather-related air traffic delays.

(B)

A description of the costs of providing such enhanced aviation forecast services.

(C)

A description of potential alternative mechanisms to provide enhanced aviation forecast services comparable to such enhanced aviation forecast services for airports in rural or low population density areas.

1220.

Federal share adjustment

Section 47109(a)(5) is amended to read as follows:

(5)

95 percent for a project at an airport for which the United States Government’s share would otherwise be capped at 90 percent under paragraph (2) or paragraph (3) if the Administrator determines that the project is a successive phase of a multi-phased construction project for which the sponsor received a grant in fiscal year 2011 or earlier.

.

1221.

Miscellaneous technical amendments

(a)

Airport security program

Section 47137 is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a), by striking Transportation and inserting Homeland Security;

(2)

in subsection (e), by striking Homeland Security and inserting Transportation; and

(3)

in subsection (g), by inserting “of Transportation” after Secretary the first place it appears.

(b)

Section 516 property conveyance releases

Section 817(a) of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 47125 note) is amended—

(1)

by striking or section 23 and inserting , section 23; and

(2)

by inserting before the period at the end the following: , or section 47125 of title 49, United States Code.

1222.

Mothers' rooms at airports

(a)

Lactation area defined

Section 47102, as amended by section 1216 of this Act, is further amended—

(1)

by redesignating paragraphs (12) through (31) as paragraphs (13) through (32), respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after paragraph (11) the following:

(12)

lactation area means a room or other location in a commercial service airport that—

(A)

provides a location for members of the public to express breast milk that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from the public;

(B)

has a door that can be locked;

(C)

includes a place to sit, a table or other flat surface, and an electrical outlet;

(D)

is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs; and

(E)

is not located in a restroom.

.

(b)

Project grants written assurances for large and medium hub airports

(1)

In general

Section 47107(a) is amended—

(A)

in paragraph (20), by striking and at the end;

(B)

in paragraph (21), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following:

(22)

with respect to a medium or large hub airport, the airport owner or operator will maintain a lactation area in each passenger terminal building of the airport in the sterile area (as defined in section 1540.5 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations) of the building.

.

(2)

Applicability

(A)

In general

The amendment made by paragraph (1) shall apply to a project grant application submitted for a fiscal year beginning on or after the date that is 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act.

(B)

Special rule

The requirement in the amendments made by paragraph (1) that a lactation area be located in the sterile area of a passenger terminal building shall not apply with respect to a project grant application for a period of time, determined by the Secretary of Transportation, if the Secretary determines that construction or maintenance activities make it impracticable or unsafe for the lactation area to be located in the sterile area of the building.

(c)

Terminal development costs

Section 47119(a) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(3)

Lactation areas

In addition to the projects described in paragraph (1), the Secretary may approve a project for terminal development for the construction or installation of a lactation area at a commercial service airport.

.

(d)

Pre-existing facilities

On application by an airport sponsor, the Secretary of Transportation may determine that a lactation area in existence on the date of enactment of this Act complies with the requirement of paragraph (22) of section 47107(a) of title 49, United States Code, as added by subsection (b), notwithstanding the absence of one of the facilities or characteristics referred to in the definition of the term lactation area in paragraph (12) of section 47102 of such title, as added by subsection (a).

1223.

Eligibility for airport development grants at airports that enter into certain leases with components of the Armed Forces

Section 47107, as amended by section 1208 of this Act, is further amended by adding at the end the following:

(t)

Airports that enter into certain leases with the Armed Forces

The Secretary of Transportation may not disapprove a project grant application under this subchapter for an airport development project at an airport solely because the airport renews a lease for the use, at a nominal rate, of airport property by a regular or reserve component of the Armed Forces, including the National Guard, without regard to whether that component operates aircraft at the airport.

.

1224.

Clarification of definition of aviation-related activity for hangar use

Section 47107, as amended by section 1223 of this Act, is further amended by adding at the end the following:

(u)

Construction of recreational aircraft

(1)

In general

The construction of a covered aircraft shall be treated as an aeronautical activity for purposes of—

(A)

determining an airport’s compliance with a grant assurance made under this section or any other provision of law; and

(B)

the receipt of Federal financial assistance for airport development.

(2)

Covered aircraft defined

In this subsection, the term covered aircraft means an aircraft—

(A)

used or intended to be used exclusively for recreational purposes; and

(B)

constructed or under construction, repair, or restoration by a private individual at a general aviation airport.

.

1225.

Use of airport improvement program funds for runway safety repairs

(a)

In general

Subchapter I of chapter 471, as amended by this subtitle, is further amended by adding at the end the following:

47144.

Use of funds for repairs for runway safety repairs

(a)

In general

The Secretary of Transportation may make project grants under this subchapter to an airport described in subsection (b) from funds under section 47114 apportioned to that airport or funds available for discretionary grants to that airport under section 47115 to conduct airport development to repair the runway safety area of the airport damaged as a result of a natural disaster in order to maintain compliance with the regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration relating to runway safety areas, without regard to whether construction of the runway safety area damaged was carried out using amounts the airport received under this subchapter.

(b)

Airports described

An airport is described in this subsection if—

(1)

the airport is a public-use airport;

(2)

the airport is listed in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems of the Federal Aviation Administration;

(3)

the runway safety area of the airport was damaged as a result of a natural disaster;

(4)

the airport was denied funding under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 4121 et seq.) with respect to the disaster;

(5)

the operator of the airport has exhausted all legal remedies, including legal action against any parties (or insurers thereof) whose action or inaction may have contributed to the need for the repair of the runway safety area;

(6)

there is still a demonstrated need for the runway safety area to accommodate current or imminent aeronautical demand; and

(7)

the cost of repairing or replacing the runway safety area is reasonable in relation to the anticipated operational benefit of repairing the runway safety area, as determined by the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.

.

(b)

Conforming amendment

The table of contents for chapter 471, as amended by this subtitle, is further amended by inserting after the item relating to section 47143 the following:

47144. Use of funds for repairs for runway safety repairs.

.

1226.

Definition of small business concern

Section 47113(a)(1) is amended to read as follows:

(1)

small business concern

(A)

except as provided in subparagraph (B), has the same meaning given that term in section 3 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632); and

(B)

in the case of a concern in the construction industry, a concern shall be considered a small business concern if the concern meets the size standard for the North American Industry Classification System Code 237310, as adjusted by the Small Business Administration;

.

C

Passenger facility charges

1301.

PFC streamlining

(a)

Passenger facility charges; general authority

Section 40117(b)(4) is amended—

(1)

in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking , if the Secretary finds— and inserting a period; and

(2)

by striking subparagraphs (A) and (B).

(b)

Pilot program for passenger facility charge authorizations at nonhub airports

Section 40117(l) is amended—

(1)

in the heading by striking nonhub and inserting certain; and

(2)

in paragraph (1), by striking ‘‘nonhub’’ and inserting ‘‘nonhub, small hub, medium hub, and large hub’’.

1302.

Intermodal access projects

Section 40117 is amended by adding at the end the following:

(n)

PFC eligibility for intermodal ground access projects

(1)

In general

The Secretary may authorize a passenger facility charge imposed under subsection (b)(1) to be used to finance the eligible capital costs of an intermodal ground access project.

(2)

Definition of intermodal ground access project

In this subsection, the term intermodal ground access project means a project for constructing a local facility owned or operated by an eligible agency that—

(A)

is located on airport property; and

(B)

is directly and substantially related to the movement of passengers or property traveling in air transportation.

(3)

Eligible capital costs

The eligible capital costs of an intermodal ground access project shall be the lesser of—

(A)

the total capital cost of the project multiplied by the ratio that the number of individuals projected to use the project to gain access to or depart from the airport bears to the total number of individuals projected to use the local facility; or

(B)

the total cost of the capital improvements that are located on airport property.

(4)

Determinations

The Secretary shall determine the projected use and cost of a project for purposes of paragraph (3) at the time the project is approved under this subsection, except that, in the case of a project to be financed in part using funds administered by the Federal Transit Administration, the Secretary shall use the travel forecasting model for the project at the time the project is approved by the Federal Transit Administration to enter preliminary engineering to determine the projected use and cost of the project for purposes of paragraph (3).

(5)

Nonattainment areas

For airport property, any area of which is located in a nonattainment area (as defined under section 171 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7501)) for 1 or more criteria pollutant, the airport emissions reductions from less airport surface transportation and parking as a direct result of the development of an intermodal project on the airport property would be eligible for air quality emissions credits.

.

1303.

Use of revenue at a previously associated airport

Section 40117, as amended by section 1302 of this Act, is further amended by adding at the end the following:

(o)

Use of revenues at a previously associated airport

Notwithstanding the requirements relating to airport control under subsection (b)(1), the Secretary may authorize use of a passenger facility charge under subsection (b) to finance an eligible airport-related project if—

(1)

the eligible agency seeking to impose the new charge controls an airport where a $2.00 passenger facility charge became effective on January 1, 2013; and

(2)

the location of the project to be financed by the new charge is at an airport that was under the control of the same eligible agency that had controlled the airport described in paragraph (1).

.

1304.

Future aviation infrastructure and financing study

(a)

Future aviation infrastructure and financing study

Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall enter into an agreement with the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies to conduct a study and make recommendations on the actions needed to upgrade and restore the national aviation infrastructure system to its role as a premier system that meets the growing and shifting demands of the 21st century, including airport infrastructure needs and existing financial resources for commercial service airports.

(b)

Consultation

In carrying out the study, the Transportation Research Board shall convene and consult with a panel of national experts, including—

(1)

nonhub airports;

(2)

small hub airports;

(3)

medium hub airports;

(4)

large hub airports;

(5)

airports with international service;

(6)

non-primary airports;

(7)

local elected officials;

(8)

relevant labor organizations;

(9)

passengers;

(10)

air carriers; and

(11)

representatives of the tourism industry.

(c)

Considerations

In carrying out the study, the Transportation Research Board shall consider—

(1)

the ability of airport infrastructure to meet current and projected passenger volumes;

(2)

the available financial tools and resources for airports of different sizes;

(3)

the current debt held by airports, and its impact on future construction and capacity needs;

(4)

the impact of capacity constraints on passengers and ticket prices;

(5)

the purchasing power of the passenger facility charge from the last increase in 2000 to the year of enactment of this Act;

(6)

the impact to passengers and airports of indexing the passenger facility charge for inflation;

(7)

how long airports are constrained with current passenger facility charge collections;

(8)

the impact of passenger facility charges to promote competition;

(9)

the additional resources or options to fund terminal construction projects;

(10)

the resources eligible for use toward noise reduction and emission reduction projects;

(11)

the gap between AIP-eligible projects and the annual Federal funding provided;

(12)

the impact of regulatory requirements on airport infrastructure financing needs;

(13)

airline competition;

(14)

airline ancillary fees and their impact on ticket pricing and taxable revenue; and

(15)

the ability of airports to finance necessary safety, security, capacity, and environmental projects identified in capital improvement plans.

(d)

Report

Not later than 15 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Transportation Research Board shall submit to the Secretary and the appropriate committees of Congress a report on its findings and recommendations.

(e)

Funding

The Secretary is authorized to use such sums as are necessary to carry out the requirements of this section.

II

Safety

A

Unmanned aircraft systems reform

2001.

Definitions

(a)

In general

Unless expressly provided otherwise, the terms used in this subtitle have the meanings given the terms in section 44801 of title 49, United States Code, as added by section 2121 of this Act.

(b)

Definition of civil aircraft

The term civil aircraft has the meaning given the term in section 40102 of title 49, United States Code.

I

Privacy and transparency

2101.

Unmanned aircraft systems privacy policy

It is the policy of the United States that the operation of any unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system shall be carried out in a manner that respects and protects personal privacy consistent with the United States Constitution and Federal, State, and local law.

2102.

Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1)

each person that uses an unmanned aircraft system for compensation or hire, or in the furtherance of a business enterprise, except for news gathering, should have a written privacy policy consistent with section 2101 that is appropriate to the nature and scope of the activities regarding the collection, use, retention, dissemination, and deletion of any data collected during the operation of an unmanned aircraft system;

(2)

each privacy policy described in paragraph (1) should be periodically reviewed and updated as necessary; and

(3)

each privacy policy described in paragraph (1) should be publicly available.

2103.

Federal Trade Commission authority

A violation of a privacy policy by a person that uses an unmanned aircraft system for compensation or hire, or in the furtherance of a business enterprise, in the national airspace system shall be an unfair and deceptive practice in violation of section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 45(a)).

2104.

National Telecommunications and Information Administration multi-stakeholder process

Not later than July 31, 2016, the Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the industry privacy best practices developed through the multi-stakeholder engagement process (established under Presidential Memorandum of February 15, 2015 (80 Fed. Reg. 9355)) on unmanned aircraft systems transparency and accountability. In addition to the agreed upon best practices, this report shall include relevant stakeholder recommendations for legislative or regulatory action regarding privacy, accountability, and transparency, including ways to encourage the adoption of privacy policies by companies that use unmanned aircraft systems for compensation or hire, or in the furtherance of a business enterprise. The report shall take into account existing rights protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution in public spaces and the First Amendment rights of journalists to control their archives.

2105.

Identification standards

(a)

In general

The Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, in collaboration with the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, and in consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, the President of RTCA, Inc., and the Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, shall convene industry stakeholders to facilitate the development of consensus standards for remotely identifying operators and owners of unmanned aircraft systems and associated unmanned aircraft.

(b)

Considerations

As part of the standards developed under subsection (a), the Director shall consider—

(1)

requirements for remote identification of unmanned aircraft systems;

(2)

appropriate requirements for different classifications of unmanned aircraft systems operations, including public and civil;

(3)

the role of manufacturers, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the owners of the systems described in paragraphs (1) and (2) in reporting and verifying identification data; and

(4)

the feasibility of the development and operation of a publicly searchable online database to further enable the immediate remote identification of any unmanned aircraft and its operator by the general public and potential exceptions to inclusion in the online database.

(c)

Deadline

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the consensus identification standards.

(d)

Guidance

Not later than 1 year after the date that the Director submits the report on the consensus identification standards under subsection (c), the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall issue regulatory guidance based on the consensus identification standards.

2106.

Commercial and governmental operators

(a)

In general

Except for model aircraft under section 44808 of title 49, United States Code, in authorizing the operation of any public unmanned aircraft system or the operation of any unmanned aircraft system by a person conducting civil aircraft operations, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, to the extent practicable and consistent with applicable law and without compromising national security, homeland defense, or law enforcement, shall make the identifying information in subsection (b) available to the public via an easily searchable online database. The Administrator shall place a clear and conspicuous link to the database on the home page of the Federal Aviation Administration’s website.

(b)

Contents

The database described in subsection (a) shall contain the following:

(1)

The name of each individual, or agency, as applicable, authorized to conduct civil or public unmanned aircraft systems operations described in subsection (a).

(2)

The name of each owner of an unmanned aircraft system described in paragraph (1).

(3)

The expiration date of any authorization related to a person identified in paragraph (1) or paragraph (2).

(4)

The contact information for each person identified in paragraphs (1) and (2), including a telephone number and an electronic mail address, in accordance with applicable privacy laws.

(5)

The tail number or specific identification number of all unmanned aircraft authorized for use that links each unmanned aircraft to the owner of that aircraft.

(6)

For any unmanned aircraft system that will collect personally identifiable information about individuals, including the use of facial recognition—

(A)

the circumstance under which the system will be used;

(B)

the specific kinds of personally identifiable information that the system will collect about individuals; and

(C)

how the information referred to in subparagraph (B), and the conclusions drawn from such information, will be used, disclosed, and otherwise handled, including—

(i)

how the collection or retention of such information that is unrelated to the specific use will be minimized;

(ii)

under what circumstances such information might be sold, leased, or otherwise provided to third parties;

(iii)

the period during which such information will be retained;

(iv)

when and how such information, including information no longer relevant to the specified use, will be destroyed; and

(v)

steps that will be used to protect against the unauthorized disclosure of any information or data, such as the use of encryption methods and other security features.

(7)

With respect to public unmanned aircraft systems—

(A)

the locations where the unmanned aircraft system will operate;

(B)

the time during which the unmanned aircraft system will operate;

(C)

the general purpose of the flight; and

(D)

the technical capabilities that the unmanned aircraft system possesses.

(c)

Records

Each person described in subsection (b)(1), to the extent practicable without compromising national security, homeland defense, or law enforcement shall maintain and make available to the Administrator for not less than 1 year a record of the name and contact information of each person on whose behalf the unmanned aircraft system has been operated.

(d)

Deadline

The Administrator shall make the database available not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act.

(e)

Termination

The Administrator may cease the operation of such database on September 30, 2017.

2107.

Analysis of current remedies under Federal, State, and local jurisdictions

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct and submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a review of the privacy issues and concerns associated with the operation of unmanned aircraft systems in the national airspace system that—

(1)

examines and identifies the existing Federal, State, or local laws, including constitutional law, that address an individual's personal privacy;

(2)

identifies specific issues and concerns that may limit the availability of existing civil or criminal legal remedies regarding inappropriate operation of unmanned aircraft systems in the national airspace system;

(3)

identifies any deficiencies in current Federal, State, or local privacy protections; and

(4)

recommends legislative or other actions to address the limitations and deficiencies identified in paragraphs (2) and (3).

II

Unmanned aircraft systems

2121.

Definitions

(a)

In general

Part A of subtitle VII is amended by inserting after chapter 447 the following:

448

Unmanned aircraft systems

Sec.

44801. Definitions.

44801.

Definitions

In this chapter—

(1)

appropriate committees of Congress means the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.

(2)

Arctic means the United States zone of the Chukchi Sea, Beaufort Sea, and Bering Sea north of the Aleutian chain.

(3)

certificate of waiver and certificate of authorization mean a Federal Aviation Administration grant of approval for a specific flight operation.

(4)

permanent areas means areas on land or water that provide for launch, recovery, and operation of small unmanned aircraft.

(5)

public unmanned aircraft system means an unmanned aircraft system that meets the qualifications and conditions required for operation of a public aircraft (as defined in section 40102(a)).

(6)

sense and avoid capability means the capability of an unmanned aircraft to remain a safe distance from and to avoid collisions with other airborne aircraft.

(7)

small unmanned aircraft means an unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds, including the weight of anything attached to or carried by the aircraft.

(8)

test range means a defined geographic area where research and development are conducted as authorized by the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.

(9)

test site means any of the 6 test ranges established by the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration under section 332(c) of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note), as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, and any public entity authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration as an unmanned aircraft system flight test center before January 1, 2009.

(10)

unmanned aircraft means an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.

(11)

unmanned aircraft system means an unmanned aircraft and associated elements (including communication links and the components that control the unmanned aircraft) that are required for the operator to operate safely and efficiently in the national airspace system.

.

(b)

Table of chapters

The table of chapters for subtitle VII is amended by inserting after the item relating to chapter 447 the following:

448.Unmanned Aircraft Systems44801

.

2122.

Utilization of unmanned aircraft system test sites

(a)

In general

Chapter 448, as designated by section 2121 of this Act, is amended by inserting after section 44801 the following:

44802.

Unmanned aircraft system test sites

(a)
(1)

In general

The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall establish and update, as appropriate, a program for the use of the 6 test sites established under section 332(c) of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note), and any public entity authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration as an unmanned aircraft system flight test center before January 1, 2009, to facilitate the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system.

(2)

Termination

The program shall terminate on September 30, 2022.

(b)

Program requirements

In establishing the program under subsection (a), the Administrator shall—

(1)

designate airspace for safely testing the integration of unmanned flight operations in the national airspace system;

(2)

develop operational standards and air traffic requirements for unmanned flight operations at test sites, including test ranges;

(3)

coordinate with and leverage the resources of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Defense;

(4)

address both civil and public unmanned aircraft systems;

(5)

ensure that the program is coordinated with relevant aspects of the Next Generation Air Transportation System;

(6)

provide for verification of the safety of unmanned aircraft systems and related navigation procedures as it relates to continued development of standards for integration into the national airspace system;

(7)

engage each test site operator in projects for research, development, testing, and evaluation of unmanned aircraft systems to facilitate the Federal Aviation Administration’s development of standards for the safe integration of unmanned aircraft into the national airspace system, which may include solutions for—

(A)

developing and enforcing geographic and altitude limitations;

(B)

classifications of airspace where manufacturers must prevent flight of an unmanned aircraft system;

(C)

classifications of airspace where manufacturers of unmanned aircraft systems must alert the operator to hazards or limitations on flight;

(D)

sense and avoid capabilities;

(E)

beyond-line-of-sight, nighttime operations and unmanned traffic management, or other critical research priorities; and

(F)

improving privacy protections through the use of advances in unmanned aircraft systems technology;

(8)

coordinate periodically with all test site operators to ensure test site operators know which data should be collected, what procedures should be followed, and what research would advance efforts to safely integrate unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system;

(9)

allow a test site to develop multiple test ranges within the test site;

(10)

streamline the approval process for test sites when processing unmanned aircraft certificates of waiver or authorization for operations at the test sites;

(11)

require each test site operator to protect proprietary technology, sensitive data, or sensitive research of any civil or private entity when using that test site without the need to obtain an experimental or special airworthiness certificate;

(12)

evaluate options for the operation of 1 or more small unmanned aircraft systems beyond the visual line of sight of the operator for testing under controlled conditions that ensure the safety of persons and property, including on the ground; and

(13)

allow test site operators to receive Federal funding, other than from the Federal Aviation Administration, including in-kind contributions, from test site participants in the furtherance of research, development, and testing objectives.

(c)

Test site locations

In determining the location of a test site under subsection (a), the Administrator shall—

(1)

take into consideration geographic and climatic diversity;

(2)

take into consideration the location of ground infrastructure and research needs; and

(3)

consult with the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Secretary of Defense.

(d)

Report to Congress

(1)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the establishment and implementation of the program under subsection (a).

(2)

Briefings

Beginning 180 days after the date of enactment of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, and every 180 days thereafter until September 30, 2017, the Administrator shall provide to the appropriate committees of Congress a briefing that includes—

(A)

a current summary of unmanned aircraft systems operations at the test sites since the last briefing to Congress;

(B)

a description of all of the data generated from the operations described in subparagraph (A), and shared with the Federal Aviation Administration through a cooperative research and development agreement authorized in section 2123 of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, that relate to unmanned aircraft systems research priorities, including beyond-line-of-sight, unmanned traffic management, nighttime operations, and sense and avoid technology;

(C)

a description of how the data described in subparagraph (B) will be or is used—

(i)

to advance Federal Aviation Administration priorities;

(ii)

to validate the safety of unmanned aircraft systems and related technology; and

(iii)

to inform future rulemaking related to the integration of unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace;

(D)

an evaluation of the activities and specific outcomes from activities at the test sites that support the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems under this chapter; and

(E)

recommendations for future Federal Aviation Administration test site operations that would generate data necessary to inform future rulemaking related to unmanned aircraft systems.

(e)

Review of operations by test site operators

The operator of each test site under subsection (a) shall—

(1)

review the operations of unmanned aircraft systems conducted at the test site, including—

(A)

ongoing or completed research; and

(B)

data regarding operations by private and public operators; and

(2)

submit to the Administrator, in such form and manner as specified by the Administrator, the results of the review, including recommendations to further enable private research and development operations at the test sites that contribute to the Federal Aviation Administration’s safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system, on a quarterly basis until the program terminates.

(f)

Testing

The Secretary may authorize an operator of a test site described in subsection (a) to administer testing requirements established by the Administrator for unmanned aircraft systems operations.

.

(b)

Technical and conforming amendments

(1)

Table of contents

The table of contents for chapter 448, as added by section 2121 of this Act, is further amended by inserting after the item relating to section 44801 the following:

44802. Unmanned aircraft system test sites.

.

(2)

Pilot projects

Section 332 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note) is amended by striking subsection (c).

2123.

Additional research, development, and testing

(a)

Research plan

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and the United States Unmanned Aircraft System Executive Committee, jointly, and in coordination with industry, users, the Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and test site operators, shall develop a research plan to identify ongoing research into the broad range of technical, procedural, and policy concerns arising from the integration of unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system, and research needs regarding those concerns. In developing the plan, the Administrator shall determine and engage the appropriate entities to meet the research needs identified in the plan.

(b)

Collaborative research and development agreements

The Administrator may use the other transaction authority under section 106(l)(6) of title 49, United States Code, and enter into collaborative research and development agreements, to direct research related to unmanned aircraft systems, including at any test site under section 44802(a) of that title, and in coordination with the Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

(c)

Use of Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems

The Administrator, in carrying out research necessary to establish the consensus safety standards and certification requirements in section 44803 of title 49, United States Code, as added by section 2124, shall, to the maximum extent practicable, leverage the research and testing capacity and capabilities of the Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems and the test sites (as defined in 44801 of such title, as added by section 2121).

2124.

Safety standards

(a)

In general

Chapter 448, as amended by section 2122 of this Act, is further amended by inserting after section 44802 the following:

44803.

Aircraft safety standards

(a)

Consensus aircraft safety standards

Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, in consultation with government and industry stakeholders and appropriate standards-setting organizations, shall initiate a collaborative process to develop risk-based, consensus industry airworthiness standards related to the safe integration of small unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system.

(b)

Considerations

In developing the consensus aircraft safety standards, the Director and Administrator shall consider the following:

(1)

Technologies or standards related to geographic limitations, altitude limitations, and sense and avoid capabilities.

(2)

Using performance-based standards.

(3)

Predetermined action to maintain safety in the event that a communications link between a small unmanned aircraft and its operator is lost or compromised.

(4)

Detectability and identifiability to pilots, the Federal Aviation Administration, and air traffic controllers, as appropriate.

(5)

Means to prevent tampering with or modification of any system, limitation, or other safety mechanism or standard under this section or any other provision of law, including a means to identify any tampering or modification that has been made.

(6)

Consensus identification standards under section 2105.

(7)

How to update or modify a small unmanned aircraft system that was commercially distributed prior to the development of the consensus aircraft safety standards so that, to the greatest extent practicable, such systems meet the consensus aircraft safety standards.

(8)

Any technology or standard related to small unmanned aircraft systems that promotes aviation safety.

(c)

Consultation

In developing the consensus aircraft safety standards under subsection (a), the Director and Administrator shall consult with—

(1)

the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration;

(2)

the President of RTCA, Inc.;

(3)

the Secretary of Defense;

(4)

each operator of a test site under section 44802;

(5)

the Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems;

(6)

unmanned aircraft systems stakeholders; and

(7)

community-based aviation organizations.

(d)

FAA approval

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall establish a process for the approval of small unmanned aircraft systems make and models based upon the consensus aircraft safety standards developed under subsection (a). The consensus aircraft safety standards developed under subsection (a) shall allow the Administrator to approve small unmanned aircraft systems for operation within the national airspace system without requiring the type certification process in parts 21 and 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(e)

Eligibility

The consensus aircraft safety standards for approval of small unmanned aircraft systems developed under this section shall set eligibility requirements for an airworthiness approval of a small unmanned aircraft system which shall include the following:

(1)

An applicant must provide the Federal Aviation Administration with—

(A)

the aircraft's operating instructions; and

(B)

the manufacturer's statement of compliance as described in subsection (f) of this section.

(2)

A sample aircraft must be inspected by the Federal Aviation Administration and found to be in a condition for safe operation and in compliance with the consensus aircraft safety standards required by the Administrator in subsection (d).

(f)

Manufacturer's statement of compliance for small UAS

The manufacturer's statement of compliance shall—

(1)

identify the aircraft make and model, and consensus aircraft safety standard used;

(2)

state that the aircraft make and model meets the provisions of the standard identified in paragraph (1);

(3)

state that the aircraft make and model conforms to the manufacturer's design data, using the manufacturer's quality assurance system that meets the identified consensus standard adopted by the Administrator in subsection (d), and is manufactured in way that ensures consistency in the production process so that every unit produced meets the applicable consensus aircraft safety standards;

(4)

state that the manufacturer will make available to any interested person—

(A)

the aircraft's operating instructions, that meet the standard identified in paragraph (1); and

(B)

the aircraft's maintenance and inspection procedures, that meet the standard identified in paragraph (1);

(5)

state that the manufacturer will monitor and correct safety-of-flight issues through a continued airworthiness system that meets the standard identified in paragraph (1);

(6)

state that at the request of the Administration, the manufacturer will provide access by the Administration to its facilities; and

(7)

state that the manufacturer, in accordance with a production acceptance test procedure that meets an applicable consensus aircraft safety standard has—

(A)

ground and flight tested random samples of the aircraft;

(B)

found the sample aircraft performance acceptable; and

(C)

determined that the make and model of aircraft is suitable for safe operation.

(g)

Prohibition

It shall be unlawful for any person to introduce or deliver for introduction into interstate commerce any unmanned aircraft manufactured after the date that the Administrator adopts consensus aircraft safety standards under this section, unless the manufacturer has received approval under subsection (d) for each make and model.

.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for chapter 448, as amended by section 2122 of this Act, is further amended by inserting after the item relating to section 44802 the following:

44803. Aircraft safety standards.

.

2125.

Unmanned aircraft systems in the Arctic

(a)

In general

Chapter 448, as amended by section 2124 of this Act, is further amended by inserting after section 44803 the following:

44804.

Unmanned aircraft systems in the Arctic

(a)

In general

The Secretary of Transportation shall develop a plan and initiate a process to work with relevant Federal agencies and national and international communities to designate permanent areas in the Arctic where small unmanned aircraft may operate 24 hours per day for research and commercial purposes.

(b)

Plan contents

The plan under subsection (a) shall include the development of processes to facilitate the safe operation of unmanned aircraft beyond line of sight.

(c)

Requirements

Each permanent area designated under subsection (a) shall enable over-water flights from the surface to at least 2,000 feet in altitude, with ingress and egress routes from selected coastal launch sites.

(d)

Agreements

To implement the plan under subsection (a), the Secretary may enter into an agreement with relevant national and international communities.

(e)

Aircraft approval

Not later than 1 year after the entry into force of an agreement necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section, the Secretary shall work with relevant national and international communities to establish and implement a process, or may apply an applicable process already established, for approving the use of unmanned aircraft in the designated permanent areas in the Arctic without regard to whether an unmanned aircraft is used as a public aircraft, a civil aircraft, or a model aircraft.

.

(b)

Technical and conforming amendments

(1)

Table of contents

The table of contents for chapter 448, as amended by section 2124 of this Act, is further amended by inserting after the item relating to section 44803 the following:

44804. Unmanned aircraft systems in the Arctic.

.

(2)

Expanding use of unmanned aircraft systems in Arctic

Section 332 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note) is amended by striking subsection (d).

2126.

Special authority for certain unmanned aircraft systems

(a)

In general

Chapter 448, as amended by section 2125 of this Act, is further amended by inserting after section 44804 the following:

44805.

Special authority for certain unmanned aircraft systems

(a)

In general

Notwithstanding any other requirement of this chapter, the Secretary of Transportation shall use a risk-based approach to determine if certain unmanned aircraft systems may operate safely in the national airspace system notwithstanding completion of the comprehensive plan and rulemaking required by section 332 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note) or the guidance required by section 44807.

(b)

Assessment of Unmanned Aircraft Systems

In making the determination under subsection (a), the Secretary shall determine, at a minimum—

(1)

which types of unmanned aircraft systems, if any, as a result of their size, weight, speed, operational capability, proximity to airports and populated areas, and operation within or beyond visual line of sight, or operation during the day or night, do not create a hazard to users of the national airspace system or the public; and

(2)

whether a certificate under section 44703 or section 44704 of this title, or a certificate of waiver or certificate of authorization, is required for the operation of unmanned aircraft systems identified under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(c)

Requirements for safe operation

If the Secretary determines under this section that certain unmanned aircraft systems may operate safely in the national airspace system, the Secretary shall establish requirements for the safe operation of such aircraft systems in the national airspace system, including operation related to research, development, and testing of proprietary systems.

(d)

Pilot certification exemption

If the Secretary proposes, under this section, to require an operator of an unmanned aircraft system to hold an airman certificate, a medical certificate, or to have a minimum number of hours operating a manned aircraft, the Secretary shall set forth the reasoning for such proposal and seek public notice and comment before imposing any such requirements.

(e)

Sunset

The authority under this section for the Secretary to determine if certain unmanned aircraft systems may operate safely in the national airspace system terminates effective September 30, 2017.

(f)

Operation by owners and operators of critical infrastructure

(1)

In general

Any application process established under subsection (a) shall allow for a covered person to apply to the Administrator to operate an unmanned aircraft system to conduct activities described in paragraph (2)—

(A)

beyond the visual line of sight of the individual operating the unmanned aircraft system; and

(B)

operation during the day or at night.

(2)

Activities described

The activities described in this paragraph that a covered person may use an unmanned aircraft system to conduct are the following:

(A)

Activities for which compliance with current law or regulation can be accomplished by the use of manned aircraft, including—

(i)

conducting activities to ensure compliance with Federal or State regulatory, permit, or other requirements, including to conduct surveys associated with applications for permits for new pipeline or pipeline systems construction or maintenance or rehabilitation of existing pipelines or pipeline systems; or

(ii)

conducting activities relating to ensuring compliance with—

(I)

the requirements of part 192 or 195 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations; or

(II)

any Federal, State, or local governmental or regulatory body or industry best practice pertaining to the construction, ownership, operation, maintenance, repair, or replacement of covered facilities.

(B)

Activities to inspect, repair, construct, maintain, or protect covered facilities, including to respond to a pipeline, pipeline system, or electric energy infrastructure incident, or in response to or in preparation for a natural disaster, man-made disaster, severe weather event, or other incident beyond the control of the covered person that may cause material damage to a covered facility.

(3)

Definitions

In this subsection:

(A)

Covered facility

The term covered facility means a pipeline, pipeline system, electric energy generation, transmission, or distribution facility (including renewable electric energy), oil or gas production, refining, or processing facility, or other critical infrastructure.

(B)

Covered person

The term covered person means a person that—

(i)

owns or operates a covered facility;

(ii)

is the sponsor of a covered facility project;

(iii)

is an association of persons described by clause (i) or (ii) and is seeking programmatic approval for an activity in accordance with this subsection; or

(iv)

is an agent of any person described in clause (i), (ii), or (iii).

(C)

Critical infrastructure

The term critical infrastructure has the meaning given that term in section 2339D of title 18.

(4)

Deadline

Within 90 days from the date of enactment of the FAA Reauthorization of 2016 the Administrator must certify to the appropriate committees of Congress that a process has been established to facilitate applications for operations provided for under this subsection. If the Administrator cannot provide this certification, the Administrator, within 180 days of from the due date of that certification, shall update the process under (a) to provide for such applications.

.

(b)

Technical and conforming amendments

(1)

Table of contents

The table of contents for chapter 448, as amended by section 2125 of this Act, is further amended by inserting after the item relating to section 44804 the following:

44805. Special rules for certain unmanned aircraft systems.

.

(2)

Special rules for certain unmanned aircraft systems

Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note) and the item relating to that section in the table of contents under section 1(b) of that Act (126 Stat. 13) are repealed.

2127.

Additional rulemaking authority

(a)

Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1)

beyond visual line of sight and nighttime operations of unmanned aircraft systems have tremendous potential—

(A)

to enhance research and development both commercially and in academics;

(B)

to spur economic growth and development through innovative applications of this emerging technology; and

(C)

to improve emergency response efforts as it relates to assessing damage to critical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and utilities, including water and power, ultimately speeding response time;

(2)

advancements in miniaturization of safety technologies, including for aircraft weighing under 4.4 pounds, have increased economic opportunities for using unmanned aircraft systems while reducing kinetic energy and risk compared to unmanned aircraft that may weigh as much as 55 pounds;

(3)

advancements in unmanned technology will have the capacity to ultimately improve manned aircraft safety; and

(4)

integrating unmanned aircraft systems safely into the national airspace, including beyond visual line of sight and nighttime operations on a routine basis should remain a top priority for the Federal Aviation Administration as it pursues additional rulemakings under the amendments made by this section.

(b)

In general

Chapter 448, as amended by section 2126 of this Act, is further amended by inserting after section 44805 the following:

44806.

Additional rulemaking authority

(a)

In general

Notwithstanding the rulemaking required by section 332 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note) or the guidance required by section 44807 of this title and subject to subsection (b)(2) of this section and section 44808, the Administrator may issue regulations under which a person may operate certain unmanned aircraft systems (as determined by the Administrator) in the United States—

(1)

without an airman certificate;

(2)

without an airworthiness certificate for the associated unmanned aircraft; or

(3)

that are not registered with the Federal Aviation Administration.

(b)

Micro unmanned aircraft systems operational rules

(1)

In general

Notwithstanding the rulemaking required by section 332 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note), the Administrator shall issue regulations not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016 under which any person may operate a micro unmanned aircraft system classification of unmanned aircraft systems, the aircraft component of which weighs 4.4 pounds or less, including payload, without the person operating the system being required to pass any airman certification requirement, including any requirements under section 44703 of this title, part 61 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, or any other rule or regulation relating to airman certification.

(2)

Operational rules

The rulemaking required by paragraph (1) relating to micro unmanned aircraft systems shall consider the following rules, or any appropriate modifications thereof concerning altitude, airspeed, geographic location, and time of day as the Administrator considers appropriate, for operation of such systems:

(A)

Operation an altitude of less than 400 feet above ground level.

(B)

Operation with an airspeed of not greater than 40 knots.

(C)

Operation within the visual line of sight of the operator.

(D)

Operation during the hours between sunrise and sunset.

(E)

Operation not less than 5 statute miles from the geographic center of an airport with an operational air traffic control tower or an airport denoted on a current aeronautical chart published by the Federal Aviation Administration, except that a micro unmanned aircraft system may be operated within 5 statute miles of such an airport if the operator of the system—

(i)

provides notice to the airport operator; and

(ii)

in the case of an airport with an operational air traffic control tower, receives approval from the air traffic control tower.

(c)

Scope of regulations

(1)

In general

In determining whether a person may operate an unmanned aircraft system under 1 or more of the circumstances described under paragraphs (1) through (3) of subsection (a), the Administrator shall use a risk-based approach and consider, at a minimum, the physical and functional characteristics of the unmanned aircraft system.

(2)

Limitation

The Administrator may only issue regulations under this section for unmanned aircraft systems that the Administrator determines may be operated safely in the national airspace system.

(d)

Rules of construction

Nothing in this section may be construed—

(1)

to prohibit a person from operating an unmanned aircraft system under a circumstance described under paragraphs (1) through (3) of subsection (a) if—

(A)

the circumstance is allowed by regulations issued under this section; and

(B)

the person operates the unmanned aircraft system in a manner prescribed by the regulations; and

(2)

to limit or affect in any way the Administrator's authority to conduct a rulemaking, make a determination, or carry out any activity related to unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft systems under any other provision of law.

.

(c)

Table of contents

The table of contents for chapter 448, as amended by section 2126 of this Act, is further amended by inserting after the item relating to section 44805 the following:

44806. Additional rulemaking authority.

.

2128.

Governmental unmanned aircraft systems

(a)

In general

Chapter 448, as amended by section 2127 of this Act, is further amended by inserting after section 44806 the following:

44807.

Public unmanned aircraft systems

(a)

Guidance

The Secretary of Transportation shall issue guidance regarding the operation of a public unmanned aircraft system—

(1)

to streamline the process for the issuance of a certificate of authorization or a certificate of waiver;

(2)

to provide for a collaborative process with public agencies to allow for an incremental expansion of access to the national airspace system as technology matures and the necessary safety analyses and data become available, and until standards are completed and technology issues are resolved;

(3)

to facilitate the capability of public agencies to develop and use test ranges, subject to operating restrictions required by the Federal Aviation Administration, to test and operate public unmanned aircraft systems; and

(4)

to provide guidance on a public agency's responsibilities when operating an unmanned aircraft without a civil airworthiness certificate issued by the Administration.

(b)

Standards for operation and certification

The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall develop and implement operational and certification requirements for the operation of a public unmanned aircraft system in the national airspace system.

(c)

Agreements with government agencies

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall enter into an agreement with each appropriate public agency to simplify the process for issuing a certificate of waiver or a certificate of authorization with respect to an application for authorization to operate a public unmanned aircraft system in the national airspace system.

(2)

Contents

An agreement under paragraph (1) shall—

(A)

with respect to an application described in paragraph (1)—

(i)

provide for an expedited review of the application;

(ii)

require a decision by the Administrator on approval or disapproval not later than 60 business days after the date of submission of the application;

(iii)

allow for an expedited appeal if the application is disapproved; and

(iv)

if applicable, include verification of the data minimization policy required under subsection (d);

(B)

allow for a one-time approval of similar operations carried out during a fixed period of time; and

(C)

allow a government public safety agency to operate an unmanned aircraft weighing 25 pounds or less if that unmanned aircraft is operated—

(i)

within or beyond the line of sight of the operator;

(ii)

less than 400 feet above the ground;

(iii)

during daylight conditions;

(iv)

within Class G airspace; and

(v)

outside of 5 statute miles from any airport, heliport, seaplane base, spaceport, or other location with aviation activities.

(d)

Data minimization for certain public unmanned aircraft system operators

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016 each Federal agency authorized by the Secretary to operate an unmanned aircraft system shall develop and update a data minimization policy that requires, at a minimum, that—

(1)

prior to the deployment of any new unmanned aircraft system technology, and at least every 3 years, existing policies and procedures relating to the collection, use, retention, and dissemination of information obtained by an unmanned aircraft system must be examined to ensure that privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties are protected;

(2)

if the unmanned aircraft system is the platform for information collection, information must be collected, used, retained, and disseminated consistent with the Constitution, Federal law, and other applicable regulations and policies, such as the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a);

(3)

the Federal agency or person operating on its behalf, only collect information using the unmanned aircraft system, or use unmanned aircraft system-collected information, to the extent that the collection or use is consistent with and relevant to an authorized purpose as determined by the head of a Federal agency and consistent with the law;

(4)

any information collected, using an unmanned aircraft or an unmanned aircraft system, that may contain personal information will not be retained by any Federal agency for more than 180 days after the date of collection unless—

(A)

the head of the Federal agency determines that retention of the information is directly relevant and necessary to accomplish the specific purpose for which the Federal agency used the unmanned aircraft system;

(B)

that Federal agency maintains the information in a system of records under section 552a of title 5; or

(C)

the information is required to be retained for a longer period under other applicable law, including regulations;

(5)

any information collected, using an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system, that is not maintained in a system of records under section 552a of title 5, will not be disseminated outside of that Federal agency unless—

(A)

dissemination is required by law; or

(B)

dissemination satisfies an authorized purpose and complies with that Federal agency's disclosure requirements;

(6)

to the extent it does not compromise law enforcement or national security a Federal agency shall—

(A)

provide notice to the public regarding where in the national airspace system the Federal agency is authorized to operate the unmanned aircraft system;

(B)

keep the public informed about the Federal agency's unmanned aircraft system program, including any changes to that program that would significantly affect privacy, civil rights, or civil liberties;

(C)

make available to the public, on an annual basis, a general summary of the Federal agency's unmanned aircraft system operations during the previous fiscal year, including—

(i)

a brief description of types or categories of missions flown; and

(ii)

the number of times the Federal agency provided assistance to other agencies or to State, local, tribal, or territorial governments; and

(D)

make available on a public and searchable Internet website the data minimization policy of the Federal agency;

(7)

ensures oversight of the Federal agency's unmanned aircraft system use, including—

(A)

the use of audits or assessments that comply with existing Federal agency policies and regulations;

(B)

the verification of the existence of rules of conduct and training for Federal Government personnel and contractors who work on programs, and procedures for reporting suspected cases of misuse or abuse of unmanned aircraft system technologies;

(C)

the establishment of policies and procedures, or confirmation that policies and procedures are in place, that provide meaningful oversight of individuals who have access to sensitive information, including personal information, collected using an unmanned aircraft system;

(D)

ensuring that any data-sharing agreements or policies, data use policies, and record management policies applicable to an unmanned aircraft system conform to applicable laws, regulations, and policies;

(E)

the establishment of policies and procedures, or confirmation that policies and procedures are in place, to authorize the use of an unmanned aircraft system in response to a request for unmanned aircraft system assistance in support of Federal, State, local, tribal, or territorial government operations; and

(F)

a requirement that State, local, tribal, and territorial government recipients of Federal grant funding for the purchase or use of unmanned aircraft systems for their own operations have in place policies and procedures to safeguard individuals' privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties prior to expending such funds; and

(8)

ensures the protection of civil rights and civil liberties, including—

(A)

ensuring that policies are in place to prohibit the collection, use, retention, or dissemination of data in any manner that would violate the First Amendment or in any manner that would discriminate against persons based upon their ethnicity, race, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity, in violation of law;

(B)

ensuring that unmanned aircraft system activities are performed in a manner consistent with the Constitution and applicable laws, Executive Orders, and other Presidential directives; and

(C)

ensuring that adequate procedures are in place to receive, investigate, and address, as appropriate, privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties complaints.

(e)

Law enforcement and national security

Each Federal agency shall effectuate a requirement under subsection (d) only to the extent it does not compromise law enforcement or national security.

(f)

Definition of Federal agency

In subsections (d) and (e), the term Federal agency has the meaning given the term agency in section 552(f) of title 5, United States Code.

.

(b)

Technical and conforming amendments

(1)

Table of contents

The table of contents for chapter 448, as amended by section 2127 of this Act, is further amended by inserting after the item relating to section 44806 the following:

44807. Public unmanned aircraft systems.

.

(2)

Public unmanned aircraft systems

Section 334 of the FAA Modernization and reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note) and the item relating to that section in the table of contents under section 1(b) of that Act (126 Stat. 13) are repealed.

2129.

Special rules for model aircraft

(a)

In general

Chapter 448, as amended by section 2128 of this Act, is further amended by inserting after section 44807 the following:

44808.

Special rules for model aircraft

(a)

In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law relating to the incorporation of unmanned aircraft systems into Federal Aviation Administration plans and policies, including this chapter, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration may not promulgate any new rule or regulation specific only to an unmanned aircraft operating as a model aircraft if—

(1)

the aircraft is flown strictly for hobby or recreational use;

(2)

the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization;

(3)

not flown beyond visual line of sight of persons co-located with the operator or in direct communication with the operator;

(4)

the aircraft is operated in a manner that does not interfere with and gives way to any manned aircraft;

(5)

when flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft provides the airport operator, where applicable, and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport) with prior notice and receives approval from the tower, to the extent practicable, for the operation from each (model aircraft operators flying from a permanent location within 5 miles of an airport should establish a mutually agreed upon operating procedure with the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport));

(6)

the aircraft is flown from the surface to not more than 400 feet in altitude, except under special conditions and programs established by a community-based organization; and

(7)

the operator has passed an aeronautical knowledge and safety test administered by the Federal Aviation Administration online for the operation of unmanned aircraft systems subject to the requirements of section 44809 and maintains proof of test passage to be made available to the Administrator or law enforcement upon request.

(b)

Updates

(1)

In general

The Administrator, in collaboration with government and industry stakeholders, including nationwide community-based organizations, shall initiate a process to update the operational parameters under subsection (a), as appropriate.

(2)

Considerations

In updating an operational parameter under paragraph (1), the Administrator shall consider—

(A)

appropriate operational limitations to mitigate aviation safety risk and risk to the uninvolved public;

(B)

operations outside the membership, guidelines, and programming of a nationwide community-based organization;

(C)

physical characteristics, technical standards, and classes of aircraft operating under this section;

(D)

trends in use, enforcement, or incidents involving unmanned aircraft systems; and

(E)

ensuring, to the greatest extent practicable, that updates to the operational parameters correspond to, and leverage, advances in technology.

(3)

Savings clause

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as expanding the authority of the Administrator to require operators of model aircraft under the exemption of this subsection to be required to seek permissive authority of the Administrator prior to operation in the national airspace system.

(c)

Statutory construction

Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of the Administrator to pursue enforcement action against persons operating model aircraft.

(d)

Model aircraft defined

In this section, the term model aircraft means an unmanned aircraft that—

(1)

is capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere; and

(2)

is limited to weighing not more than 55 pounds, including the weight of anything attached to or carried by the aircraft, unless otherwise approved through a design, construction, inspection, flight test, and operational safety program administered by a community-based organization.

.

(b)

Technical and conforming amendments

(1)

Table of contents

The table of contents for chapter 448, as amended by section 2128 of this Act, is further amended by inserting after the item relating to section 44807 the following:

44808. Special rules for model aircraft.

.

(2)

Special rule for model aircraft

Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note) and the item relating to that section in the table of contents under section 1(b) of that Act (126 Stat. 13) are repealed.

2130.

Unmanned aircraft systems aeronautical knowledge and safety

(a)

In general

Chapter 448, as amended by section 2129 of this Act, is further amended by inserting after section 44808 the following:

44809.

Aeronautical knowledge and safety test

(a)

In general

An individual may not operate an unmanned aircraft system unless—

(1)

the individual has successfully completed an aeronautical knowledge and safety test under subsection (c);

(2)

the individual has authority to operate an unmanned aircraft under other Federal law; or

(3)

the individual is a holder of an airmen certificate issued under section 44703.

(b)

Exception

This section shall not apply to the operation of an unmanned aircraft system that has been authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration under section 44802, 44805, 44806, or 44807. The Administrator may waive the requirements of this section for operators of aircraft weighing less than 0.55 pounds or for operators under the age of 13 operating the unmanned aircraft system under the supervision of an adult as determined by the Administrator.

(c)

Aeronautical knowledge and safety test

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, in consultation with manufacturers of unmanned aircraft systems, other industry stakeholders, and community-based aviation organizations, shall develop an aeronautical knowledge and safety test that can be administered electronically.

(d)

Requirements

The Administrator shall ensure that the aeronautical knowledge and safety test is designed to adequately demonstrate an operator's—

(1)

understanding of aeronautical safety knowledge, as applicable; and

(2)

knowledge of Federal Aviation Administration regulations and requirements pertaining to the operation of an unmanned aircraft system in the national airspace system.

(e)

Record of compliance

(1)

In general

Each operator of an unmanned aircraft system described under subsection (a) shall maintain and make available for inspection, upon request by the Administrator or a Federal, State, or local law enforcement officer, a record of compliance with this section through—

(A)

an identification number, issued by the Federal Aviation Administration certifying passage of the aeronautical knowledge and safety test;

(B)

if the individual has authority to operate an unmanned aircraft system under other Federal law, the requisite proof of authority under that law; or

(C)

an airmen certificate issued under section 44703.

(2)

Coordination

The Administrator may coordinate the identification number under paragraph (1)(A) with an operator's registration number to the extent practicable.

(3)

Limitation

No fine or penalty may be imposed for the initial failure of an operator of an unmanned aircraft system to comply with paragraph (1) unless the Administrator finds that the conduct of the operator actually posed a risk to the national airspace system.

.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for chapter 448, as amended by section 2129 of this Act, is further amended by inserting after the item relating to section 44808 the following:

44809. Aeronautical knowledge and safety test.

.

2131.

Safety statements

(a)

In general

Chapter 448, as amended by section 2130 of this Act, is further amended by inserting after section 44809 the following:

44810.

Safety statements

(a)

Prohibition

Beginning on the date that is 1 year after the date of publication of the guidance under subsection (b)(1), it shall be unlawful for any person to introduce or deliver for introduction into interstate commerce any unmanned aircraft manufactured unless a safety statement is attached to the unmanned aircraft or accompanying the unmanned aircraft in its packaging.

(b)

Safety statement

(1)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall issue guidance for implementing this section.

(2)

Requirements

A safety statement described in subsection (a) shall include—

(A)

information about laws and regulations applicable to unmanned aircraft systems;

(B)

recommendations for using unmanned aircraft in a manner that promotes the safety of persons and property;

(C)

the date that the safety statement was created or last modified; and

(D)

language approved by the Administrator regarding the following:

(i)

A person may operate the unmanned aircraft as a model aircraft (as defined in section 44808) or otherwise in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration authorization or regulation, including requirements for the completion of the aeronautical knowledge and safety test under section 44809.

(ii)

The definition of a model aircraft under section 44808.

(iii)

The requirements regarding a model aircraft under paragraphs (1) through (7) of section 44808(a).

(iv)

The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration may pursue enforcement action against a person operating model aircraft who endangers the safety of the national airspace system.

(c)

Civil penalty

A person who violates subsection (a) shall be liable for each violation to the United States Government for a civil penalty described in section 46301(a).

.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for chapter 448, as amended by section 2130 of this Act, is further amended by inserting after the item relating to section 44809 the following:

44810. Safety statements.

.

2132.

Treatment of unmanned aircraft operating underground

An unmanned aircraft system that is operated underground for mining purposes shall not be subject to regulation or enforcement by the Federal Aviation Administration under chapter 448 of title 49, United States Code.

2133.

Enforcement

(a)

UAS safety enforcement

The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall establish a program to utilize available remote detection and identification technologies for safety oversight, including enforcement actions against operators of unmanned aircraft systems that are not in compliance with applicable Federal aviation laws, including regulations.

(b)

Civil penalties

(1)

In general

Section 46301 is amended—

(A)

in subsection (a)(1)(A), by inserting chapter 448, after chapter 447 (except sections 44717 and 44719–44723),;

(B)

in subsection (a)(5), by inserting chapter 448, after chapter 447 (except sections 44717–44723),;

(C)

in subsection (d)(2), by inserting chapter 448, after chapter 447 (except sections 44717 and 44719–44723),; and

(D)

in subsection (f), by inserting chapter 448, after chapter 447 (except 44717 and 44719–44723),.

(2)

Rule of construction

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the authority of the Administrator to pursue an enforcement action for a violation of this Act, a regulation prescribed or order or authority issued under this Act, or any other applicable provision of aviation safety law or regulation.

(c)

Reporting

As part of the program, the Administrator shall establish and publicize a mechanism for the public and Federal, State, and local law enforcement to report a suspected abuse or a violation of chapter 448 of title 49, United States Code, for enforcement action.

(d)

Authorization of appropriations

To carry out this section, there is authorized to be appropriated $5,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2016 through 2017.

2134.

Aviation emergency safety public services disruption

(a)

In general

Chapter 463 is amended—

(1)

in section 46301(d)(2), by inserting section 46320, after section 46319,; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following:

46320.

Interference with firefighting, law enforcement, or emergency response activities

(a)

Prohibition

No person may operate an aircraft so as to interfere with firefighting, law enforcement, or emergency response activities.

(b)

Definition

For purposes of this section, an aircraft interferes with the activities specified in subsection (a) when its operation prevents the initiation of, interrupts, or endangers a person or property engaged in those activities.

(c)

Civil penalty

A person violating subsection (a) shall be liable for a civil penalty of not more than $20,000.

(d)

Compromise and setoff

The United States Government may deduct the amount of a civil penalty imposed or compromised under this section from the amounts the Government owes the person liable for the penalty.

.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for chapter 463 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 46319 the following:

46320. Interference with firefighting, law enforcement, or emergency response activities.

.

2135.

Pilot project for airport safety and airspace hazard mitigation

(a)

In general

The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall carry out a pilot program for airspace hazard mitigation at airports and other critical infrastructure.

(b)

Consultation

In carrying out the pilot program under subsection (a), the Administrator shall work with the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Homeland Security, and the heads of relevant Federal agencies for the purpose of ensuring technologies that are developed, tested, or deployed by those departments and agencies to mitigate threats posed by errant or hostile unmanned aircraft system operations do not adversely impact or interfere with safe airport operations, navigation, and air traffic services.

(c)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund to carry out this section $6,000,000, to remain available until expended.

2136.

Contribution to financing of regulatory functions

(a)

In general

Chapter 448, as amended by section 2131 of this Act, is further amended by inserting after section 44810 the following:

44811.

Regulatory and administrative fees

(a)

In general

Subject to subsection (b), the Administrator may assess and collect regulatory and administrative fees to recover the costs of regulatory and administrative activities under this chapter related to authorization to operate unmanned aircraft systems for compensation or hire, or in the furtherance of a business enterprise.

(b)

Limitations

Fees authorized under subsection (a) shall be reasonable, cost-based relative to the regulatory or administrative activity, and may not be discriminatory or a deterrent to compliance.

(c)

Receipts credited to account

Notwithstanding section 3302 of title 31, all fees and amounts collected under this section shall be credited to the separate account established under section 45303(c). Section 41742 shall not apply to fees and amounts collected under this section.

(d)

Regulations

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, the Administrator shall issue regulations to carry out this section.

.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for chapter 448, as amended by section 2131 of this Act, is further amended by inserting after the item relating to section 44810 the following:

44811. Regulatory and administrative fees.

.

2137.

Sense of Congress regarding small UAS rulemaking

It is the sense of the Congress that the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and Secretary of Transportation should take every necessary action to expedite final action on the notice of proposed rulemaking dated February 23, 2015 (80 Fed. Reg. 9544), entitled “Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems”.

2138.

Unmanned aircraft systems traffic management

(a)

Research plan for UTM development

(1)

In general

The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, in coordination with the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, shall develop a research plan for unmanned aircraft systems traffic management (referred to in this section as UTM) development.

(2)

Requirements

In developing the research plan under paragraph (1), the Administrator shall—

(A)

identify research goals related to:

(i)

operational parameters related to altitude, geographic coverage, classes of airspace, and critical infrastructure;

(ii)

avionics capability requirements or standards;

(iii)

operator identification and authentication requirements and capabilities;

(iv)

communication protocols with air traffic control facilities that will not interfere with existing responsibility to deconflict manned aircraft in the national airspace system;

(v)

collision avoidance requirements;

(vi)

separation standards for manned and unmanned aircraft; and

(vii)

spectrum needs;

(B)

evaluate options for the administration and management structure for the traffic management of low altitude operations of small unmanned aircraft systems; and

(C)

ensure the plan is consistent with the broader Federal Aviation Administration regulatory and operational framework encompassing all unmanned aircraft systems operations expected to be authorized in the national airspace system.

(3)

Assessment

The research plan under paragraph (1) shall include an assessment of—

(A)

the ability to allow near-term small unmanned aircraft system operations without need of an automated UTM system;

(B)

the full range of operational capability any automated UTM system should possess;

(C)

the operational characteristics and metrics that would drive incremental adoption of automated capability and procedures consistent with a rising aggregate community demand for service for low altitude operations of small unmanned aircraft systems; and

(D)

the integration points for small unmanned aircraft system traffic management with the existing national airspace system planning and traffic management systems.

(4)

Deadlines

The Administrator shall—

(A)

initiate development of the research plan not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act; and

(B)

not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act—

(i)

complete the research plan;

(ii)

submit the research plan to the appropriate committees of Congress; and

(iii)

publish the research plan on the Federal Aviation Administration's Web site.

(b)

Pilot program

(1)

In general

Not later than 120 days after the date the research plan under subsection (a) is submitted under paragraph (4)(B) of that subsection, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall coordinate with the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the small unmanned aircraft systems industry to develop operational concepts and top-level system requirements for a UTM system pilot program, consistent with subsection (a).

(2)

Solicitation

The Administrator shall issue a solicitation for operational prototype systems that meet the necessary objectives for use in a pilot program to demonstrate, validate, or modify, as appropriate, the requirements developed under paragraph (1).

(c)

Comprehensive plan

(1)

In general

Not later than 270 days after the date the pilot program under subsection (b) is complete, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, in coordination with the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and in consultation with the head of each relevant Federal agency, shall develop a comprehensive plan for the deployment of UTM systems in the national airspace.

(2)

System requirements

The comprehensive plan under paragraph (1) shall include requirements or standards consistent with established or planned rulemaking for, at a minimum—

(A)

the flight of small unmanned aircraft systems in controlled and uncontrolled airspace;

(B)

communications, as applicable—

(i)

among small unmanned aircraft systems;

(ii)

between small unmanned aircraft systems and manned aircraft operating in the same airspace; and

(iii)

between small unmanned aircraft systems and air traffic control as considered necessary; and

(C)

air traffic management for small unmanned aircraft systems operations.

(d)

System implementation

Based on the comprehensive plan under subsection (c), including the requirements under paragraph (2) of that subsection, and the pilot program under subsection (b), the Administrator shall determine the operational need and implementation schedule for evolutionary use of automation support systems to separate and deconflict manned and unmanned aircraft systems.

2139.

Emergency exemption process

(a)

In general

Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall publish guidance for applications for, and procedures for the processing of, on an emergency basis, exemptions or certificates of authorization or waiver for the use of unmanned aircraft systems by civil or public operators in response to a catastrophe, disaster, or other emergency to facilitate emergency response operations, such as firefighting, search and rescue, and utility and infrastructure restoration efforts. This guidance shall outline procedures for operations under both sections 44805 and 44807, of title 49, United States Code, with priority given to applications for public unmanned aircraft systems engaged in emergency response activities.

(b)

Requirements

In providing guidance under subsection (a), the Administrator shall—

(1)

make explicit any safety requirements that must be met for the consideration of applications that include requests for beyond visual line of sight, nighttime operations, or the suspension of otherwise applicable operating restrictions, consistent with public interest and safety; and

(2)

explicitly state the procedures for coordinating with an incident commander, if any, to ensure operations granted under procedures developed under subsection (a) do not interfere with manned catastrophe, disaster, or other emergency response operations or otherwise impact response efforts.

(c)

Review

In processing applications on an emergency basis for exemptions or certificates of authorization or waiver for unmanned aircraft systems operations in response to a catastrophe, disaster, or other emergency, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall act on such applications as expeditiously as practicable and without requiring public notice and comment.

2140.

Public uas operations by tribal governments

(a)

Public UAS operations by tribal governments

Section 40102(a)(41) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(F)

An unmanned aircraft that is owned and operated by or exclusively leased for at least 90 consecutive days by an Indian tribal government (as defined in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122)), except as provided in section 40125(b).

.

(b)

Conforming amendment

Section 40125(b) is amended by striking or (D) and inserting (D), or (F).

2141.

Carriage of property by small unmanned aircraft systems for compensation or hire

(a)

In general

Chapter 448, as amended by section 2136 of this Act, is further amended by adding after section 44811 the following:

44812.

Carriage of property by small unmanned aircraft systems for compensation or hire

(a)

In general

Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary of Transportation shall issue a final rule authorizing the carriage of property by operators of small unmanned aircraft systems for compensation or hire within the United States.

(b)

Contents

The final rule required under subsection (a) shall provide for the following:

(1)

Small UAS air carrier certificate

The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, at the direction of the Secretary, shall establish a certificate (to be known as a small UAS air carrier certificate) for persons that undertake directly, by lease, or other arrangement the operation of small unmanned aircraft systems to carry property in air transportation, including commercial fleet operations with highly automated unmanned aircraft systems. The requirements to operate under a small UAS air carrier certificate shall—

(A)

consider the unique characteristics of highly automated, small unmanned aircraft systems; and

(B)

include requirements for the safe operation of small unmanned aircraft systems that, at a minimum, address—

(i)

airworthiness of small unmanned aircraft systems;

(ii)

qualifications for operators and the type and nature of the operations; and

(iii)

operating specifications governing the type and nature of the unmanned aircraft system air carrier operations.

(2)

Small UAS air carrier certification process

The Administrator, at the direction of the Secretary, shall establish a process for the issuance of small UAS air carrier certificates established pursuant to paragraph (1) that is performance-based and ensures required safety levels are met. Such certification process shall consider—

(A)

safety risks and the mitigation of those risks associated with the operation of highly automated, small unmanned aircraft around other manned and unmanned aircraft, and over persons and property on the ground;

(B)

the competencies and compliance programs of manufacturers, operators, and companies that manufacture, operate, or both small unmanned aircraft systems and components; and

(C)

compliance with the requirements established pursuant to paragraph (1).

(3)

Small UAS air carrier classification

The Secretary shall develop a classification system for persons issued small UAS air carrier certificates pursuant to this subsection to establish economic authority for the carriage of property by small unmanned aircraft systems for compensation or hire. Such classification shall only require—

(A)

registration with the Department of Transportation; and

(B)

a valid small UAS air carrier certificate issued pursuant to this subsection.

.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for chapter 448, as amended by section 2136 of this Act, is further amended by adding after the item relating to section 44811 the following:

44812. Carriage of property by small unmanned aircraft systems for compensation or hire.

.

2142.

Collegiate Training Initiative program for unmanned aircraft systems

(a)

In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall establish a Collegiate Training Initiative program relating to unmanned aircraft systems by making new agreements or continuing existing agreements with institutions of higher education (as defined by the Administrator) under which the institutions prepare students for careers involving unmanned aircraft systems. The Administrator may establish standards for the entry of such institutions into the program and for their continued participation in the program.

(b)

Unmanned aircraft system defined

In this section, the term unmanned aircraft system has the meaning given that term by section 44801 of title 49, United States Code, as added by section 2121 of this Act.

2143.

Incorporation of Federal Aviation Administration occupations relating to unmanned aircraft into veterans employment programs of the Administration

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, in consultation with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Labor, shall determine whether occupations of the Administration relating to unmanned aircraft systems technology and regulations can be incorporated into the Veterans Employment Program of the Administration, particularly in the interaction between such program and the New Sights Work Experience Program and the Vet-Link Cooperative Education Program.

III

Transition and savings provisions

2151.

Senior advisor for unmanned aircraft systems integration

(a)

In general

There shall be in the Federal Aviation Administration a Senior Advisor for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration.

(b)

Qualifications

The Senior Advisor for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration shall have a demonstrated ability in management and knowledge of or experience in aviation.

(c)

Responsibilities

Unless otherwise determined by the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration—

(1)

the Senior Advisor shall report directly to the Deputy Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration; and

(2)

the responsibilities of the Senior Advisor shall include the following:

(A)

Providing advice to the Administrator and Deputy Administrator related to the integration of unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system.

(B)

Reviewing and evaluating Federal Aviation Administration policies, activities, and operations related to unmanned aircraft systems.

(C)

Facilitating coordination and collaboration among components of the Federal Aviation Administration with respect to activities related to unmanned aircraft systems integration.

(D)

Interacting with Congress, and Federal, State, or local agencies, and stakeholder organizations whose operations and interests are affected by the activities of the Federal Aviation Administration on matters related to unmanned aircraft systems integration.

2152.

Effect on other laws

(a)

Federal preemption

No State or political subdivision of a State may enact or enforce any law, regulation, or other provision having the force and effect of law relating to the design, manufacture, testing, licensing, registration, certification, operation, or maintenance of an unmanned aircraft system, including airspace, altitude, flight paths, equipment or technology requirements, purpose of operations, and pilot, operator, and observer qualifications, training, and certification.

(b)

Preservation of state and local authority

Nothing in this subtitle shall be construed to limit a State or local government's authority to enforce Federal, State, or local laws relating to nuisance, voyeurism, privacy, data security, harassment, reckless endangerment, wrongful death, personal injury, property damage, or other illegal acts arising from the use of unmanned aircraft systems if such laws are not specifically related to the use of an unmanned aircraft system.

(c)

No preemption of common law or statutory causes of action

Nothing in this subtitle, nor any standard, rule, requirement, standard of performance, safety determination, or certification implemented pursuant to this subtitle, shall be construed to preempt, displace, or supplant any State or Federal common law rights or any State or Federal statute creating a remedy for civil relief, including those for civil damage, or a penalty for a criminal conduct. Notwithstanding any other provision of this subtitle, nothing in this subtitle, nor any amendments made by this subtitle, shall preempt or preclude any cause of action for personal injury, wrongful death, property damage, or other injury based on negligence, strict liability, products liability, failure to warn, or any other legal theory of liability under any State law, maritime law, or Federal common law or statutory theory.

2153.

Spectrum

(a)

In general

Small unmanned aircraft systems may operate wireless control link, tracking, diagnostics, payload communication, and collaborative-collision avoidance, such as vehicle-to-vehicle communication, and other uses, if permitted by and consistent with the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.), Federal Communications Commission rules, and the safety-of-life determination made by the Federal Aviation Administration, and with carrier consent, whether they are operating within the UTM system under section 2138 of this Act or outside such a system.

(b)

Report

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and the Federal Communications Commission, shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives a report—

(1)

on whether small unmanned aircraft systems operations should be permitted to operate on spectrum designated for aviation use, on an unlicensed, shared, or exclusive basis, for operations within the UTM system or outside of such a system;

(2)

that addresses any technological, statutory, regulatory, and operational barriers to the use of such spectrum; and

(3)

that, if it is determined that spectrum designated for aviation use is not suitable for operations by small unmanned aircraft systems, includes recommendations of other spectrum frequencies that may be appropriate for such operations.

2154.

Applications for designation

(a)

Applications for designation

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall establish a process to allow applicants to petition the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration to prohibit or otherwise limit the operation of an aircraft, including an unmanned aircraft, over, under, or within a specified distance from a fixed site facility.

(b)

Review process

(1)

Application procedures

(A)

In general

The Administrator shall establish the procedures for the application for designation under subsection (a).

(B)

Requirements

The procedures shall—

(i)

allow individual fixed site facility applications; and

(ii)

allow for a group of similar facilities to apply for a collective designation.

(C)

Considerations

In establishing the procedures, the Administrator shall consider how the process will apply to—

(i)

critical infrastructure, such as energy production, transmission, and distribution facilities and equipment;

(ii)

oil refineries and chemical facilities;

(iii)

amusement parks; and

(iv)

other locations that may benefit from such restrictions.

(2)

Determination

(A)

In general

The Secretary shall provide for a determination under the review process established under subsection (a) not later than 90 days from the date of application, unless the applicant is provided with written notice describing the reason for the delay.

(B)

Affirmative designations

An affirmative designation shall outline—

(i)

the boundaries for unmanned aircraft operation near the fixed site facility; and

(ii)

such other limitations that the Administrator determines may be appropriate.

(C)

Considerations

In making a determination whether to grant or deny an application for a designation, the Administrator may consider—

(i)

aviation safety;

(ii)

personal safety of the uninvolved public;

(iii)

national security; or

(iv)

homeland security.

(D)

Opportunity for resubmission

If an application is denied and the applicant can reasonably address the reason for the denial, the Administrator may allow the applicant to reapply for designation.

(c)

Public information

Designations under subsection (a) shall be published by the Federal Aviation Administration on a publicly accessible website.

2155.

Use of unmanned aircraft systems at institutions of higher education

(a)

In general

Not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall establish procedures and standards, as applicable, to facilitate the safe operation of unmanned aircraft systems by institutions of higher education, including faculty, students, and staff.

(b)

Standards

The procedures and standards required under subsection (a) shall outline risk-based operational parameters to ensure the safety of the national airspace system and the uninvolved public that facilitates the use of unmanned aircraft systems for educational or research purposes.

(c)

Unmanned aircraft system approval

The procedures required under subsection (a) shall allow unmanned aircraft systems operated under this section to be modified for research purposes without iterative approval from the Administrator.

(d)

Additional procedures

The Administrator shall establish a procedure to provide for streamlined, risk-based operational approval for unmanned aircraft systems operated by institutions of higher education, including faculty, students, and staff, outside of the parameters or purposes set forth in subsection (b).

(e)

Deadlines

(1)

In general

If, by the date that is 270 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator has not set forth standards and procedures required under subsections (a), (b), and (c), an institution of higher education may—

(A)

without specific approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, operate small unmanned aircraft at model aircraft fields approved by the Academy of Model Aeronautics and with the permission of the local club of the Academy of Model Aeronautics; and

(B)

submit to the Federal Aviation Administration applications for approval of the institution’s designation of 1 or more outdoor flight fields.

(2)

Consequence of failure to approve

If the Administrator does not take action with respect to an application submitted under paragraph (1)(B) within 30 days of the submission of the application, the failure to do so shall be treated as approval of the application.

(f)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Institution of higher education

The term institution of higher education has the meaning given that term by section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)).

(2)

Unmanned aircraft system

The term unmanned aircraft system has the meaning given the term in section 44801 of title 49, United States Code, as added by section 2121 of this Act.

(3)

Educational or research purposes

The term educational or research purposes, with respect to the operation of an unmanned aircraft system by an institution of higher education, includes—

(A)

instruction of students at the institution;

(B)

academic or research related use of unmanned aircraft systems by student organizations recognized by the institution, if such use has been approved by the institution;

(C)

activities undertaken by the institution as part of research projects, including research projects sponsored by the Federal Government; and

(D)

other academic activities at the institution, including general research, engineering, and robotics.

2156.

Transition language

(a)

Regulations

Notwithstanding the repeals under sections 2122(b)(2), 2125(b)(2), 2126(b)(2), 2128(b)(2), and 2129(b)(2) of this Act, all orders, determinations, rules, regulations, permits, grants, and contracts, which have been issued under any law described under subsection (b) of this section on or before the effective date of this Act shall continue in effect until modified or revoked by the Secretary of Transportation, acting through the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, as applicable, by a court of competent jurisdiction, or by operation of law other than this Act.

(b)

Laws described

The laws described under this subsection are as follows:

(1)

Section 332(c) of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note).

(2)

Section 332(d) of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note).

(3)

Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note).

(4)

Section 334 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note).

(5)

Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note).

(c)

Effect on pending proceedings

This Act shall not affect administrative or judicial proceedings pending on the effective date of this Act.

IV

Operator safety

2161.

Short title

This part may be cited as the Drone Operator Safety Act.

2162.

Findings; sense of Congress

(a)

Finding

Congress finds that educating operators of unmanned aircraft about the laws and regulations that govern such aircraft helps to ensure their safe operation.

(b)

Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration should continue to prioritize the education of operators of unmanned aircraft through public outreach efforts like the Know Before You Fly campaign.

2163.

Unsafe operation of unmanned aircraft

(a)

In general

Chapter 2 of title 18, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in section 31—

(A)

in subsection (a)—

(i)

by redesignating paragraph (10) as paragraph (11); and

(ii)

by inserting after paragraph (9) the following:

(10)

Unmanned aircraft

The term unmanned aircraft has the meaning given such term in section 44801 of title 49.

; and

(B)

in subsection (b), by inserting airport, before appliance; and

(2)

by inserting after section 39A the following:

39B.

Unsafe operation of unmanned aircraft

(a)

Offense

Any person who operates an unmanned aircraft and, in so doing, knowingly or recklessly interferes with, or disrupts the operation of, an aircraft carrying 1 or more occupants operating in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, in a manner that poses an imminent safety hazard to such occupants, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).

(b)

Penalty

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), the punishment for an offense under subsection (a) shall be a fine under this title, imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both.

(2)

Serious bodily injury or death

Any person who attempts to cause, or knowingly or recklessly causes, serious bodily injury or death during the commission of an offense under subsection (a) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both.

(c)

Operation of unmanned aircraft in close proximity to airports

(1)

In general

The operation of an unmanned aircraft within a runway exclusion zone shall be considered a violation of subsection (a) unless such operation is approved by the airport’s air traffic control facility or is the result of a circumstance, such as a malfunction, that could not have been reasonably foreseen or prevented by the operator.

(2)

Runway exclusion zone defined

In this subsection, the term runway exclusion zone means a rectangular area—

(A)

centered on the centerline of an active runway of an airport immediately around which the airspace is designated as class B, class C, or class D airspace at the surface under part 71 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations; and

(B)

the length of which extends parallel to the runway’s centerline to points that are 1 statute mile from each end of the runway and the width of which is ½ statute mile.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections for chapter 2 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 39A the following:

39B. Unsafe operation of unmanned aircraft.

.

B

FAA safety certification reform

I

General provisions

2211.

Definitions

In this subtitle:

(1)

Administrator

The term Administrator means the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.

(2)

Advisory Committee

The term Advisory Committee means the Safety Oversight and Certification Advisory Committee established under section 2212.

(3)

FAA

The term FAA means the Federal Aviation Administration.

(4)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Transportation.

(5)

Systems safety approach

The term systems safety approach means the application of specialized technical and managerial skills to the systematic, forward-looking identification and control of hazards throughout the lifecycle of a project, program, or activity.

2212.

Safety oversight and certification advisory committee

(a)

Establishment

Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall establish a Safety Oversight and Certification Advisory Committee in accordance with this section.

(b)

Duties

The Advisory Committee shall provide advice to the Secretary on policy-level issues facing the aviation community that are related to FAA safety oversight and certification programs and activities, including the following:

(1)

Aircraft and flight standards certification processes, including efforts to streamline those processes.

(2)

Implementation and oversight of safety management systems.

(3)

Risk-based oversight efforts.

(4)

Utilization of delegation and designation authorities, including organization designation authorization.

(5)

Regulatory interpretation standardization efforts.

(6)

Training programs.

(7)

Expediting the rulemaking process and prioritizing safety-related rules.

(8)

Enhancing global competitiveness of U.S. manufactured and FAA type-certificate aircraft products and services throughout the world.

(c)

Functions

In carrying out its duties under subsection (b) related to FAA safety oversight and certification programs and activities, the Advisory Committee shall—

(1)

foster aviation stakeholder collaboration in an open and transparent manner;

(2)

consult with, and ensure participation by—

(A)

the private sector, including representatives of—

(i)

general aviation;

(ii)

commercial aviation;

(iii)

aviation labor;

(iv)

aviation, aerospace, and avionics manufacturing; and

(v)

unmanned aircraft systems industry; and

(B)

the public;

(3)

recommend consensus national goals, strategic objectives, and priorities for the most efficient, streamlined, and cost-effective safety oversight and certification processes in order to maintain the safety of the aviation system while allowing the FAA to meet future needs and ensure that aviation stakeholders remain competitive in the global marketplace;

(4)

provide policy recommendations for the FAA’s safety oversight and certification efforts;

(5)

periodically review and provide recommendations regarding the FAA’s safety oversight and certification efforts;

(6)

periodically review and evaluate registration, certification, and related fees;

(7)

provide appropriate legislative, regulatory, and guidance recommendations for the air transportation system and the aviation safety regulatory environment;

(8)

recommend performance objectives for the FAA and aviation industry;

(9)

recommend performance metrics for the FAA and the aviation industry to be tracked and reviewed as streamlining certification reform, flight standards reform, and regulation standardization efforts progress;

(10)

provide a venue for tracking progress toward national goals and sustaining joint commitments;

(11)

recommend recruiting, hiring, staffing levels, training, and continuing education objectives for FAA aviation safety engineers and aviation safety inspectors;

(12)

provide advice and recommendations to the FAA on how to prioritize safety rulemaking projects;

(13)

improve the development of FAA regulations by providing information, advice, and recommendations related to aviation issues;

(14)

encourage the validation of U.S. manufactured and FAA type-certificate aircraft products and services throughout the world; and

(15)

any other functions as determined appropriate by the chairperson of the Advisory Committee and the Administrator.

(d)

Membership

(1)

Voting members

The Advisory Committee shall be composed of the following voting members:

(A)

The Administrator, or the Administrator’s designee.

(B)

At least 1 representative, appointed by the Secretary, of each of the following:

(i)

Aircraft and engine manufacturers.

(ii)

Avionics and equipment manufacturers.

(iii)

Aviation labor organizations, including collective bargaining representatives of FAA aviation safety inspectors and aviation safety engineers.

(iv)

General aviation operators.

(v)

Air carriers.

(vi)

Business aviation operators.

(vii)

Unmanned aircraft systems manufacturers and operators.

(viii)

Aviation safety management experts.

(2)

Nonvoting members

(A)

In general

In addition to the members appointed under paragraph (1), the Advisory Committee shall be composed of nonvoting members appointed by the Secretary from among individuals representing FAA safety oversight program offices.

(B)

Duties

A nonvoting member may—

(i)

take part in deliberations of the Advisory Committee; and

(ii)

provide input with respect to any report or recommendation of the Advisory Committee.

(C)

Limitation

A nonvoting member may not represent any stakeholder interest other than that of an FAA safety oversight program office.

(3)

Terms

Each voting member and nonvoting member of the Advisory Committee shall be appointed for a term of 2 years.

(4)

Rule of construction

Public Law 104–65 (2 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) may not be construed to prohibit or otherwise limit the appointment of any individual as a member of the Advisory Committee.

(e)

Committee characteristics

The Advisory Committee shall have the following characteristics:

(1)

Each voting member under subsection (d)(1)(B) shall be an executive that has decision authority within the member's organization and can represent and enter into commitments on behalf of that organization in a way that serves the entire group of organizations that member represents under that subsection.

(2)

The ability to obtain necessary information from experts in the aviation and aerospace communities.

(3)

A membership size that enables the Advisory Committee to have substantive discussions and reach consensus on issues in an expeditious manner.

(4)

Appropriate expertise, including expertise in certification and risk-based safety oversight processes, operations, policy, technology, labor relations, training, and finance.

(f)

Chairperson

(1)

In general

The chairperson of the Advisory Committee shall be appointed by the Secretary from among the voting members under subsection (d)(1)(B).

(2)

Term

Each member appointed under paragraph (1) shall serve a term of 2 years as chairperson.

(g)

Meetings

(1)

Frequency

The Advisory Committee shall convene at least 2 meetings a year at the call of the chairperson.

(2)

Public attendance

Each meeting of the Advisory Committee shall be open and accessible to the public.

(h)

Special committees

(1)

Establishment

The Advisory Committee may establish 1 or more special committees composed of private sector representatives, members of the public, labor representatives, and other relevant parties in complying with consultation and participation requirements under subsection (c)(2).

(2)

Rulemaking advice

A special committee established by the Advisory Committee may—

(A)

provide rulemaking advice and recommendations to the Advisory Committee;

(B)

provide the FAA additional opportunities to obtain firsthand information and insight from those persons that are most affected by existing and proposed regulations; and

(C)

assist in expediting the development, revision, or elimination of rules in accordance with, and without circumventing, established public rulemaking processes and procedures.

(3)

Federal Advisory Committee Act

The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to a special committee under this subsection.

(i)

Sunset

The Advisory Committee shall cease to exist on September 30, 2017.

II

Aircraft certification reform

2221.

Aircraft certification performance objectives and metrics

(a)

In general

Not later than 120 days after the date the Advisory Committee is established under section 2212, the Administrator shall establish performance objectives and apply and track performance metrics for the FAA and the aviation industry relating to aircraft certification in accordance with this section.

(b)

Collaboration

The Administrator shall carry out this section in collaboration with the Advisory Committee and update agency performance objectives and metrics after considering the proposals recommended by the Advisory Committee under paragraphs (8) and (9) of section 2212(c).

(c)

Performance objectives

In establishing performance objectives under subsection (a), the Administrator shall ensure progress is made toward, at a minimum—

(1)

eliminating certification delays and improving cycle times;

(2)

increasing accountability for both FAA and the aviation industry;

(3)

achieving full utilization of FAA delegation and designation authorities, including organizational designation authorization;

(4)

fully implementing risk management principles and a systems safety approach;

(5)

reducing duplication of effort;

(6)

increasing transparency;

(7)

developing and providing training, including recurrent training, in auditing and a systems safety approach to certification oversight;

(8)

improving the process for approving or accepting the certification actions between the FAA and bilateral partners;

(9)

maintaining and improving safety;

(10)

streamlining the hiring process for—

(A)

qualified systems safety engineers at staffing levels to support the FAA's efforts to implement a systems safety approach; and

(B)

qualified systems safety engineers to guide the engineering of complex systems within the FAA; and

(11)

maintaining the leadership of the United States in international aviation and aerospace.

(d)

Performance metrics

In carrying out subsection (a), the Administrator shall—

(1)

apply and track performance metrics for the FAA and the aviation industry; and

(2)

transmit to the appropriate committees of Congress an annual report on tracking the progress toward full implementation of the recommendations under section 2212.

(e)

Data

(1)

Baselines

Not later than 1 year after the date the Advisory Committee recommends initial performance metrics under section 2212(c)(9), the Administrator shall generate initial data with respect to each of the performance metrics applied and tracked under this section.

(2)

Benchmarks

The Administrator shall use the performance metrics applied and tracked under this section to generate data on an ongoing basis and to measure progress toward the consensus national goals, strategic objectives, and priorities recommended under section 2212(c)(3).

(f)

Publication

(1)

In general

Subject to paragraph (2), the Administrator shall make data generated using the performance metrics applied and tracked under this section available in a searchable, sortable, and downloadable format through the Internet Web site of the FAA or other appropriate methods.

(2)

Limitations

The Administrator shall make the data under paragraph (1) available in a manner that—

(A)

protects from disclosure identifying information regarding an individual or entity; and

(B)

protects from inappropriate disclosure proprietary information.

2222.

Organization designation authorizations

(a)

In general

Chapter 447 is amended by adding at the end the following:

44736.

Organization designation authorizations

(a)

Delegations of functions

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraph (3), in the oversight of an ODA holder, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration standards, shall—

(A)

require, based on an application submitted by the ODA holder and approved by the Administrator (or the Administrator’s designee), a procedures manual that addresses all procedures and limitations regarding the specified functions to be performed by the ODA holder subject to regulations prescribed by the Administrator;

(B)

delegate fully to the ODA holder each of the functions specified in the procedures manual, unless the Administrator determines, after the date of the delegation and as a result of an inspection or other investigation, that the public interest and safety of air commerce requires a limitation with respect to 1 or more of the functions; and

(C)

conduct oversight activities, including by inspecting the ODA holder's delegated functions and taking action based on validated inspection findings.

(2)

Duties of ODA holders

An ODA holder shall—

(A)

perform each specified function delegated to the ODA holder in accordance with the approved procedures manual for the delegation;

(B)

make the procedures manual available to each member of the appropriate ODA unit; and

(C)

cooperate fully with oversight activities conducted by the Administrator in connection with the delegation.

(3)

Existing ODA holders

With regard to an ODA holder operating under a procedures manual approved by the Administrator before the date of enactment of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, the Administrator shall—

(A)

at the request of the ODA holder, and in an expeditious manner, consider revisions to the ODA holder’s procedures manual;

(B)

delegate fully to the ODA holder each of the functions specified in the procedures manual, unless the Administrator determines, after the date of the delegation and as a result of an inspection or other investigation, that the public interest and safety of air commerce requires a limitation with respect to 1 or more of the functions; and

(C)

conduct oversight activities, including by inspecting the ODA holder's delegated functions and taking action based on validated inspection findings.

(b)

ODA Office

(1)

Establishment

Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, the Administrator shall identify, within the Office of Aviation Safety, a centralized policy office to be responsible for the organization designation authorization (referred to in this subsection as the ODA Office). The Director of the ODA Office shall report to the Director of the Aircraft Certification Service.

(2)

Purpose

The purpose of the ODA Office shall be to provide oversight and ensure consistency of the Federal Aviation Administration audit functions under the ODA program across the agency.

(3)

Functions

The ODA Office shall—

(A)
(i)

at the request of an ODA holder, eliminate all limitations specified in a procedures manual in place on the date of enactment of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016 that are low and medium risk as determined by a risk analysis using criteria established by the ODA Office and disclosed to the ODA holder, except where an ODA holder's performance warrants the retention of a specific limitation due to documented concerns about inadequate current performance in carrying out that authorized function;

(ii)

require an ODA holder to establish a corrective action plan to regain authority for any retained limitations;

(iii)

require an ODA holder to notify the ODA Office when all corrective actions have been accomplished;

(iv)

make a reassessment to determine if subsequent performance in carrying out any retained limitation warrants continued retention and, if such reassessment determines performance meets objectives, lift such limitation immediately;

(B)

improve the Administration and the ODA holder performance and ensure full use of the authorities delegated under the ODA program;

(C)

develop a more consistent approach to audit priorities, procedures, and training under the ODA program;

(D)

expeditiously review a random sample of limitations on delegated authorities under the ODA program to determine if the limitations are appropriate;

(E)

review and approve new limitations to ODA functions; and

(F)

ensure national consistency in the interpretation and application of the requirements of the ODA program, including any limitations, and in the performance of the ODA program.

(c)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

ODA or organization designation authorization

The term ODA or organization designation authorization means an authorization under section 44702(d) to perform approved functions on behalf of the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration under subpart D of part 183 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations.

(2)

ODA holder

The term ODA holder means an entity authorized under section 44702(d)—

(A)

to which the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration issues an ODA letter of designation under subpart D of part 183 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (or any corresponding similar regulation or ruling); and

(B)

that is responsible for administering 1 or more ODA units.

(3)

ODA program

The term ODA program means the program to standardize Federal Aviation Administration management and oversight of the organizations that are approved to perform certain functions on behalf of the Administration under section 44702(d).

(4)

ODA unit

The term ODA unit means a group of 2 or more individuals under the supervision of an ODA holder who perform the specified functions under an ODA.

(5)

Organization

The term organization means a firm, a partnership, a corporation, a company, an association, a joint-stock association, or a governmental entity.

.

(b)

Technical and conforming amendments

The table of contents of chapter 447 is amended by adding after the item relating to section 44735 the following:

44736. Organization designation authorizations.

.

2223.

ODA review

(a)

Expert review panel

(1)

Establishment

Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the FAA shall convene a multidisciplinary expert review panel (referred to in this section as the Panel).

(2)

Composition

(A)

In general

The Panel shall be composed of not more than 20 members appointed by the Administrator.

(B)

Qualifications

The members appointed to the Panel shall—

(i)

each have a minimum of 5 years of experience in processes and procedures under the ODA program; and

(ii)

include representatives of ODA holders, aviation manufacturers, safety experts, and FAA labor organizations, including labor representatives of FAA aviation safety inspectors and aviation safety engineers.

(b)

Survey

The Panel shall survey ODA holders and ODA program applicants to document FAA safety oversight and certification programs and activities, including the FAA's use of the ODA program and the speed and efficiency of the certification process. In carrying out this subsection, the Administrator shall consult with the appropriate survey experts and the Panel to best design and conduct the survey.

(c)

Assessment

The Panel shall—

(1)

conduct an assessment of—

(A)

the FAA’s processes and procedures under the ODA program and whether the processes and procedures function as intended;

(B)

the best practices of and lessons learned by ODA holders and the FAA personnel who provide oversight of ODA holders;

(C)

the performance incentive policies, related to the ODA program for FAA personnel, that do not conflict with the public interest;

(D)

the training activities related to the ODA program for FAA personnel and ODA holders; and

(E)

the impact, if any, that oversight of the ODA program has on FAA resources and the FAA’s ability to process applications for certifications outside of the ODA program; and

(2)

make recommendations for improving FAA safety oversight and certification programs and activities based on the results of the survey under subsection (b) and each element of the assessment under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(d)

Report

Not later than 180 days after the date the Panel is convened under subsection (a), the Panel shall submit to the Administrator, the Advisory Committee established under section 2212, and the appropriate committees of Congress a report on results of the survey under subsection (b) and the assessment and recommendations under subsection (c).

(e)

Definitions

The terms used in this section have the meanings given the terms in section 44736 of title 49, United States Code.

(f)

Federal Advisory Committee Act

The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Panel.

(g)

Sunset

The Panel shall terminate on the date the report is submitted under subsection (d).

2224.

Type certification resolution process

(a)

In general

Section 44704(a) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(6)

Type certification resolution process

(A)

In general

Not later than 15 months after the date of enactment of Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, the Administrator shall establish an effective, expeditious, and milestone-based issue resolution process for type certification activities under this subsection.

(B)

Process requirements

The resolution process shall provide for—

(i)

the resolution of technical issues at preestablished stages of the certification process, as agreed to by the Administrator and the type certificate applicant;

(ii)

the automatic escalation to appropriate management personnel of the Federal Aviation Administration and the type certificate applicant of any major certification process milestone that is not completed or resolved within a specific period of time agreed to by the Administrator and the type certificate applicant; and

(iii)

the resolution of a major certification process milestone escalated under clause (ii) within a specific period of time agreed to by the Administrator and the type certificate applicant.

(C)

Definition of major certification process milestone

In this paragraph, the term major certification process milestone means a milestone related to a type certification basis, type certification plan, type inspection authorization, issue paper, or other major type certification activity agreed to by the Administrator and the type certificate applicant.

.

(b)

Technical and conforming amendments

Section 44704 is amended in the heading by striking airworthiness certificates,, and inserting airworthiness certificates,.

2225.

Safety enhancing technologies for small general aviation airplanes

(a)

Policy

In a manner consistent with the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013 (49 U.S.C. 44704 note), not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall establish and begin implementing a risk-based policy that streamlines the installation of safety enhancing technologies for small general aviation airplanes in a manner that reduces regulatory delays and significantly improves safety.

(b)

Inclusions

The safety enhancing technologies for small general aviation airplanes described in subsection (a) shall include, at a minimum, the replacement or retrofit of primary flight displays, auto pilots, engine monitors, and navigation equipment.

(c)

Collaboration

In carrying out this section, the Administrator shall collaborate with general aviation operators, general aviation manufacturers, and appropriate FAA labor organizations, including representatives of FAA aviation safety inspectors and aviation safety engineers, certified under section 7111 of title 5, United States Code.

(d)

Definition of small general aviation airplane

In this section, the term small general aviation airplane means an airplane that—

(1)

is certified to the standards of part 23 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations;

(2)

has a seating capacity of not more than 9 passengers; and

(3)

is not used in scheduled passenger-carrying operations under part 121 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations.

2226.

Streamlining certification of small general aviation airplanes

(a)

Final rulemaking

Not later than December 31, 2016, the Administrator shall issue a final rulemaking to comply with section 3 of the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013 (49 U.S.C. 44704 note).

(b)

Government review

The Federal Government’s review process shall be streamlined to meet the deadline in subsection (a).

III

Flight standards reform

2231.

Flight standards performance objectives and metrics

(a)

In general

Not later than 120 days after the date the Advisory Committee is established under section 2212, the Administrator shall establish performance objectives and apply and track performance metrics for the FAA and the aviation industry relating to flight standards activities in accordance with this section.

(b)

Collaboration

The Administrator shall carry out this section in collaboration with the Advisory Committee and update agency performance objectives and metrics after considering the recommendations of the Advisory Committee under paragraphs (8) and (9) of section 2212(c).

(c)

Performance objectives

In carrying out subsection (a), the Administrator shall ensure that progress is made toward, at a minimum—

(1)

eliminating delays with respect to such activities;

(2)

increasing accountability for both FAA and the aviation industry;

(3)

fully implementing risk management principles and a systems safety approach;

(4)

reducing duplication of effort;

(5)

promoting appropriate compliance activities and eliminating inconsistent regulatory interpretations and inconsistent enforcement activities;

(6)

improving and providing greater opportunities for training, including recurrent training, in auditing and a systems safety approach to oversight;

(7)

developing and allowing the use of a single master source for guidance;

(8)

providing and using a streamlined appeal process for the resolution of regulatory interpretation questions;

(9)

maintaining and improving safety; and

(10)

increasing transparency.

(d)

Performance metrics

In carrying out subsection (a), the Administrator shall—

(1)

apply and track performance metrics for the FAA and the aviation industry; and

(2)

transmit to the appropriate committees of Congress an annual report tracking the progress toward full implementation of the performance metrics under section 2212.

(e)

Data

(1)

Baselines

Not later than 1 year after the date the Advisory Committee recommends initial performance metrics under section 2212(c)(9), the Administrator shall generate initial data with respect to each of the performance metrics applied and tracked that are approved based on the recommendations required under this section.

(2)

Benchmarks

The Administrator shall use the performance metrics applied and tracked under this section to generate data on an ongoing basis and to measure progress toward the consensus national goals, strategic objectives, and priorities recommended under section 2212(c)(3).

(f)

Publication

(1)

In general

Subject to paragraph (2), the Administrator shall make data generated using the performance metrics applied and tracked under this section available in a searchable, sortable, and downloadable format through the Internet Web site of the FAA or other appropriate methods.

(2)

Limitations

The Administrator shall make the data under paragraph (1) available in a manner that—

(A)

protects from disclosure identifying information regarding an individual or entity; and

(B)

protects from inappropriate disclosure proprietary information.

2232.

FAA task force on flight standards reform

(a)

Establishment

Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall establish the FAA Task Force on Flight Standards Reform (referred to in this section as the Task Force).

(b)

Membership

(1)

Appointment

The membership of the Task Force shall be appointed by the Administrator.

(2)

Number

The Task Force shall be composed of not more than 20 members.

(3)

Representation requirements

The membership of the Task Force shall include representatives, with knowledge of flight standards regulatory processes and requirements, of—

(A)

air carriers;

(B)

general aviation;

(C)

business aviation;

(D)

repair stations;

(E)

unmanned aircraft systems operators;

(F)

flight schools;

(G)

labor unions, including those representing FAA aviation safety inspectors and those representing FAA aviation safety engineers; and

(H)

aviation safety experts.

(c)

Duties

The duties of the Task Force shall include, at a minimum, identifying cost-effective best practices and providing recommendations with respect to—

(1)

simplifying and streamlining flight standards regulatory processes;

(2)

reorganizing the Flight Standards Service to establish an entity organized by function rather than geographic region, if appropriate;

(3)

FAA aviation safety inspector training opportunities;

(4)

FAA aviation safety inspector standards and performance; and

(5)

achieving, across the FAA, consistent—

(A)

regulatory interpretations; and

(B)

application of oversight activities.

(d)

Report

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Task Force shall submit to the Administrator, Advisory Committee established under section 2212, and appropriate committees of Congress a report detailing—

(1)

the best practices identified and recommendations provided by the Task Force under subsection (c); and

(2)

any recommendations of the Task Force for additional regulatory action or cost-effective legislative action.

(e)

Federal Advisory Committee Act

The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Task Force.

(f)

Sunset

The Task Force shall cease to exist on the date that the Task Force submits the report required under subsection (d).

2233.

Centralized safety guidance database

(a)

Establishment

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the FAA shall establish a centralized safety guidance database for all of the regulatory guidance issued by the FAA Office of Aviation Safety regarding compliance with 1 or more aviation safety-related provisions of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(b)

Requirements

The database under subsection (a) shall—

(1)

for each guidance, include a link to the specific provision of the Code of Federal Regulations;

(2)

subject to paragraph (3), be accessible to the public; and

(3)

be provided in a manner that—

(A)

protects from disclosure identifying information regarding an individual or entity; and

(B)

protects from inappropriate disclosure proprietary information.

(c)

Data entry timing

(1)

Existing documents

Not later than 14 months after the date the database is established, the Administrator shall have completed entering into the database any applicable regulatory guidance that are in effect and were issued before that date.

(2)

New regulatory guidance and updates

Beginning on the date the database is established, the Administrator shall ensure that any applicable regulatory guidance that are issued on or after that date are entered into the database as they are issued.

(d)

Consultation requirement

In establishing the database under subsection (a), the Administrator shall consult and collaborate with appropriate stakeholders, including labor organizations (including those representing aviation workers, FAA aviation safety engineers, and FAA aviation safety inspectors) and aviation industry stakeholders.

(e)

Definition of regulatory guidance

In this section, the term regulatory guidance means all forms of written information issued by the FAA that an individual or entity may use to interpret or apply FAA regulations and requirements, including information an individual or entity may use to determine acceptable means of compliance with such regulations and requirements, such as an order, manual, circular, policy statement, legal interpretation memorandum, and rulemaking documents.

2234.

Regulatory Consistency Communications Board

(a)

Establishment

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the FAA shall establish a Regulatory Consistency Communications Board (referred to in this section as the Board).

(b)

Consultation requirement

In establishing the Board, the Administrator shall consult and collaborate with appropriate stakeholders, including FAA labor organizations (including labor organizations representing FAA aviation safety inspectors and labor organizations representing FAA aviation safety engineers) and aviation industry stakeholders.

(c)

Membership

The Board shall be composed of FAA representatives, appointed by the Administrator, from—

(1)

the Flight Standards Service;

(2)

the Aircraft Certification Service; and

(3)

the Office of the Chief Counsel.

(d)

Functions

The Board shall carry out the following functions:

(1)

Recommend, at a minimum, processes by which—

(A)

FAA personnel and persons regulated by the FAA may submit regulatory interpretation questions without fear of retaliation;

(B)

FAA personnel may submit written questions as to whether a previous approval or regulatory interpretation issued by FAA personnel in another office or region is correct or incorrect; and

(C)

any other person may submit anonymous regulatory interpretation questions.

(2)

Meet on a regular basis to discuss and resolve questions submitted under paragraph (1) and the appropriate application of regulations and policy with respect to each question.

(3)

Provide to a person that submitted a question under subparagraph (A) or subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) an expeditious written response to the question.

(4)

Recommend a process to make the resolution of common regulatory interpretation questions publicly available to FAA personnel and the public in a manner that—

(A)

does not reveal any identifying data of the person that submitted a question; and

(B)

protects any proprietary information.

(5)

Ensure that responses to questions under this subsection are incorporated into regulatory guidance (as defined in section 2233(e)).

(e)

Performance metrics, timelines, and goals

Not later than 180 days after the date that the Advisory Committee recommends performance objectives and performance metrics for the FAA and the aviation industry under paragraphs (8) and (9) of section 2212(c), the Administrator, in collaboration with the Advisory Committee, shall—

(1)

establish performance metrics, timelines, and goals to measure the progress of the Board in resolving regulatory interpretation questions submitted under subsection (d)(1); and

(2)

implement a process for tracking the progress of the Board in meeting the performance metrics, timelines, and goals under paragraph (1).

2235.

Flight standards service realignment feasibility report

(a)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator, in consultation with relevant industry stakeholders, shall—

(1)

determine the feasibility of realigning flight standards service regional field offices to specialized areas of aviation safety oversight and technical expertise; and

(2)

submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the findings under paragraph (1).

(b)

Considerations

In making a determination under subsection (a), the Administrator shall consider a flight standards service regional field office providing support in the area of its technical expertise to flight standards district offices and certificate management offices.

2236.

Additional certification resources

(a)

In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and subject to the requirements of subsection (b), the Administrator may enter into a reimbursable agreement with an applicant or certificate holder for the reasonable travel and per diem expenses of the FAA associated with official travel to expedite the acceptance or validation by a foreign authority of an FAA certificate or design approval.

(b)

Conditions

The Administrator may enter into an agreement under subsection (a) only if—

(1)

the travel covered under the agreement is determined to be necessary, by both the Administrator and the applicant or certificate holder, to expedite the acceptance or validation of the relevant certificate or approval;

(2)

the travel is conducted at the request of the applicant or certificate holder;

(3)

the travel plans and expenses are approved by the applicant or certificate holder prior to travel; and

(4)

the agreement requires payment in advance of FAA services and is consistent with the processes under section 106(l)(6) of title 49, United States Code.

(c)

Report

Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on—

(1)

the number of occasions on which the Administrator entered into reimbursable agreements under this section;

(2)

the number of occasions on which the Administrator declined a request by an applicant or certificate holder to enter into a reimbursable agreement under this section;

(3)

the amount of reimbursements collected in accordance with agreements under this section; and

(4)

the extent to which reimbursable agreements under this section assisted in reducing the amount of time necessary for foreign authorities' validations of FAA certificates and design approvals.

(d)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Applicant

The term applicant means a person that has applied to a foreign authority for the acceptance or validation of an FAA certificate or design approval.

(2)

Certificate holder

The term certificate holder means a person that holds a certificate issued by the Administrator under part 21 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations.

IV

Safety workforce

2241.

Safety workforce training strategy

(a)

Safety workforce training strategy

Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the FAA shall review and revise its safety workforce training strategy to ensure that it—

(1)

aligns with an effective risk-based approach to safety oversight;

(2)

best utilizes available resources;

(3)

allows FAA employees participating in organization management teams or conducting ODA program audits to complete, expeditiously, appropriate training, including recurrent training, in auditing and a systems safety approach to oversight;

(4)

seeks knowledge-sharing opportunities between the FAA and the aviation industry in new technologies, best practices, and other areas of interest related to safety oversight;

(5)

fosters an inspector and engineer workforce that has the skills and training necessary to improve risk-based approaches that focus on requirements management and auditing skills; and

(6)

includes, as appropriate, milestones and metrics for meeting the requirements of paragraphs (1) through (5).

(b)

Report

Not later that 270 days after the date the strategy is established under subsection (a), the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the implementation of the strategy and progress in meeting any milestones or metrics included in the strategy.

(c)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

ODA holder

The term ODA holder has the meaning given the term in section 44736 of title 49, United States Code.

(2)

ODA program

The term ODA program has the meaning given the term in section 44736(c)(3) of title 49, United States Code, as added by this Act.

(3)

Organization management team

The term organization management team means a group of FAA employees consisting of FAA aviation safety engineers, flight test pilots, and aviation safety inspectors overseeing an ODA holder and its specified function delegated under section 44702 of title 49, United States Code.

2242.

Workforce study

(a)

Workforce study

Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study to assess the workforce and training needs of the Office of Aviation Safety of the Federal Aviation Administration and take into consideration how those needs could be met.

(b)

Contents

The study under subsection (a) shall include—

(1)

a review of the current staffing levels and requirements for hiring and training, including recurrent training, of aviation safety inspectors and aviation safety engineers;

(2)

an analysis of the skills and qualifications required of aviation safety inspectors and aviation safety engineers for successful performance in the current and future projected aviation safety regulatory environment, including an analysis of the need for a systems engineering discipline within the Federal Aviation Administration to guide the engineering of complex systems, with an emphasis on auditing an ODA holder (as defined in section 44736(c) of title 49, United States Code);

(3)

a review of current performance incentive policies of the Federal Aviation Administration, as applied to the Office of Aviation Safety, including awards for performance;

(4)

an analysis of ways the Federal Aviation Administration can work with the aviation industry and FAA labor force to establish knowledge-sharing opportunities between the Federal Aviation Administration and the aviation industry in new technologies, best practices, and other areas that could improve the aviation safety regulatory system; and

(5)

recommendations on the best and most cost-effective approaches to address the needs of the current and future projected aviation safety regulatory system, including qualifications, training programs, and performance incentives for relevant agency personnel.

(c)

Report

Not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the results of the study required under subsection (a).

V

International aviation

2251.

Promotion of United States aerospace standards, products, and services abroad

Section 40104 is amended by adding at the end the following:

(d)

Promotion of United States aerospace standards, products, and services abroad

The Secretary shall take appropriate actions—

(1)

to promote United States aerospace-related safety standards abroad;

(2)

to facilitate and vigorously defend approvals of United States aerospace products and services abroad;

(3)

with respect to bilateral partners, to use bilateral safety agreements and other mechanisms to improve validation of United States type certificated aeronautical products and services and enhance mutual acceptance in order to eliminate redundancies and unnecessary costs; and

(4)

with respect to the aeronautical safety authorities of a foreign country, to streamline that country's validation of United States aerospace standards, products, and services.

.

2252.

Bilateral exchanges of safety oversight responsibilities

Section 44701(e) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(5)

Foreign airworthiness directives

(A)

Acceptance

The Administrator shall accept an airworthiness directive (as defined in section 39.3 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations) issued by an aeronautical safety authority of a foreign country, and leverage that aeronautical safety authority’s regulatory process, if—

(i)

the country is the state of design for the product that is the subject of the airworthiness directive;

(ii)

the United States has a bilateral safety agreement relating to aircraft certification with the country;

(iii)

as part of the bilateral safety agreement with the country, the Administrator has determined that the aeronautical safety authority has an aircraft certification system relating to safety that produces a level of safety equivalent to the level produced by the system of the Federal Aviation Administration; and

(iv)

the aeronautical safety authority utilizes an open and transparent public notice and comment process in the issuance of airworthiness directives.

(B)

Alternative approval process

Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), the Administrator may issue a Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness directive instead of accepting the airworthiness directive issued by the aeronautical safety authority of a foreign country if the Administrator determines that such issuance is necessary for safety or operational reasons due to the complexity or unique features of the Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness directive or the United States aviation system.

(C)

Alternative means of compliance

The Administrator may—

(i)

accept an alternative means of compliance, with respect to an airworthiness directive under subparagraph (A), that was approved by the aeronautical safety authority of the foreign country that issued the airworthiness directive; or

(ii)

notwithstanding subparagraph (A), and at the request of any person affected by an airworthiness directive under that subparagraph, the Administrator may approve an alternative means of compliance with respect to the airworthiness directive.

.

2253.

FAA leadership abroad

(a)

In general

To promote United States aerospace safety standards, reduce redundant regulatory activity, and facilitate acceptance of FAA design and production approvals abroad, the Administrator shall—

(1)

attain greater expertise in issues related to dispute resolution, intellectual property, and export control laws to better support FAA certification and other aerospace regulatory activities abroad;

(2)

work with United States companies to more accurately track the amount of time it takes foreign authorities, including bilateral partners, to validate United States type certificated aeronautical products;

(3)

provide assistance to United States companies who have experienced significantly long foreign validation wait times;

(4)

work with foreign authorities, including bilateral partners, to collect and analyze data to determine the timeliness of the acceptance and validation of FAA design and production approvals by foreign authorities and the acceptance and validation of foreign-certified products by the FAA;

(5)

establish appropriate benchmarks and metrics to measure the success of bilateral aviation safety agreements and to reduce the validation time for United States type certificated aeronautical products abroad; and

(6)

work with foreign authorities, including bilateral partners, to improve the timeliness of the acceptance and validation of FAA design and production approvals by foreign authorities and the acceptance and validation of foreign-certified products by the FAA.

(b)

Report

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report that—

(1)

describes the Administrator's strategic plan for international engagement;

(2)

describes the structure and responsibilities of all FAA offices that have international responsibilities, including the Aircraft Certification Office, and all the activities conducted by those offices related to certification and production;

(3)

describes current and forecasted staffing and travel needs for the FAA's international engagement activities, including the needs of the Aircraft Certification Office in the current and forecasted budgetary environment;

(4)

provides recommendations, if appropriate, to improve the existing structure and personnel and travel policies supporting the FAA's international engagement activities, including the activities of the Aviation Certification Office, to better support the growth of United States aerospace exports; and

(5)

identifies policy initiatives, regulatory initiatives, or cost-effective legislative initiatives needed to improve and enhance the timely acceptance of United States aerospace products abroad.

(c)

International Travel

The Administrator of the FAA, or the Administrator's designee, may authorize international travel for any FAA employee, without the approval of any other person or entity, if the Administrator determines that the travel is necessary—

(1)

to promote United States aerospace safety standards; or

(2)

to support expedited acceptance of FAA design and production approvals.

2254.

Registration, certification, and related fees

Section 45305 is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a) by striking Subject to subsection (b) and inserting Subject to subsection (c);

(2)

by redesignating subsections (b) and (c) as subsections (c) and (d), respectively; and

(3)

by inserting after subsection (a) the following:

(b)

Certification services

Subject to subsection (c), and notwithstanding section 45301(a), the Administrator may establish and collect a fee from a foreign government or entity for services related to certification, regardless of where the services are provided, if the fee—

(1)

is established and collected in a manner consistent with aviation safety agreements; and

(2)

does not exceed the estimated costs of the services.

.

C

Airline passenger safety and protections

2301.

Pilot records database deadline

Section 44703(i)(2) is amended by striking The Administrator shall establish and inserting Not later than April 30, 2017, the Administrator shall establish and make available for use.

2302.

Access to air carrier flight decks

The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall collaborate with other aviation authorities to advance a global standard for access to air carrier flight decks and redundancy requirements consistent with the flight deck access and redundancy requirements in the United States.

2303.

Aircraft tracking and flight data

(a)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall assess current performance standards, and as appropriate, conduct a rulemaking to revise the standards to improve near-term and long-term aircraft tracking and flight data recovery, including retrieval, access, and protection of such data after an incident or accident.

(b)

Considerations

In revising the performance standards under subsection (a), the Administrator may consider—

(1)

various methods for improving detection and retrieval of flight data, including—

(A)

low frequency underwater locating devices; and

(B)

extended battery life for underwater locating devices;

(2)

automatic deployable flight recorders;

(3)

triggered transmission of flight data, and other satellite-based solutions;

(4)

distress-mode tracking; and

(5)

protections against disabling flight recorder systems.

(c)

Coordination

If the performance standards under subsection (a) are revised, the Administrator shall coordinate with international regulatory authorities and the International Civil Aviation Organization to ensure that any new international standard for aircraft tracking and flight data recovery is consistent with a performance-based approach and is implemented in a globally harmonized manner.

2304.

Automation reliance improvements

(a)

Modernization of training

Not later than October 1, 2017, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall review, and update as necessary, recent guidance regarding pilot flight deck monitoring that an air carrier can use to train and evaluate its pilots to ensure that air carrier pilots are trained to use and monitor automation systems while also maintaining proficiency in manual flight operations consistent with the final rule entitled, Qualification, Service, and Use of Crewmembers and Aircraft Dispatchers, published on November 12, 2013 (78 Fed. Reg. 67799).

(b)

Considerations

In reviewing and updating the guidance, the Administrator shall—

(1)

consider casualty driven scenarios during initial and recurrent simulator instruction that focus on automation complacency during system failure, including flight segments when automation is typically engaged and should result in hand flying the aircraft into a safe position while employing crew resource management principles;

(2)

consider the development of metrics or measurable tasks an air carrier may use to evaluate the ability of pilots to appropriately monitor flight deck systems;

(3)

consider the development of metrics an air carrier may use to evaluate manual flying skills and improve related training;

(4)

convene an expert panel, including members with expertise in human factors, training, and flight operations—

(A)

to evaluate and develop methods for training flight crews to understand the functionality of automated systems for flight path management;

(B)

to identify and recommend to the Administrator the most effective training methods that ensure that pilots can apply manual flying skills in the event of flight deck automation failure or an unexpected event; and

(C)

to identify and recommend to the Administrator revision in the training guidance for flight crews to address the needs identified in subparagraphs (A) and (B); and

(5)

develop any additional standards to be used for guidance the Administrator considers necessary to determine whether air carrier pilots receive sufficient training opportunities to develop, maintain, and demonstrate manual flying skills.

(c)

DOT IG review

Not later than 2 years after the date the Administrator reviews the guidance under subsection (a), the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation shall review the air carriers implementation of the guidance and the ongoing work of the expert panel.

2305.

Enhanced mental health screening for pilots

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall consider the recommendations of the Pilot Fitness Aviation Rulemaking Committee in determining whether to implement, as part of a comprehensive medical certification process for pilots with a first- or second-class airman medical certificate, additional screening for mental health conditions, including depression and suicidal thoughts or tendencies, and assess treatments that would address any risk associated with such conditions.

2306.

Flight attendant duty period limitations and rest requirements

(a)

Modification of final rule

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall revise the flight attendant duty period limitations and rest requirements under section 121.467 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations.

(b)

Contents

Except as provided in subsection (c), in revising the rule under subsection (a), the Administrator shall ensure that a flight attendant scheduled to a duty period of 14 hours or less is given a scheduled rest period of at least 10 consecutive hours.

(c)

Exception

The rest period required under subsection (b) may be scheduled or reduced to 9 consecutive hours if the flight attendant is provided a subsequent rest period of at least 11 consecutive hours.

(d)

Fatigue risk management plan

(1)

Submission of plan by part 121 air carriers

Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, each air carrier operating under part 121 of title 13, Code of Federal Regulations (referred to in this subsection as a part 121 air carrier), shall submit a fatigue risk management plan for the carrier’s flight attendants to the Administrator for review and acceptance.

(2)

Contents of plan

Each fatigue risk management plan submitted under paragraph (1) shall include—

(A)

current flight time and duty period limitations;

(B)

a rest scheme that is consistent with such limitations and enables the management of flight attendant fatigue, including annual training to increase awareness of—

(i)

fatigue;

(ii)

the effects of fatigue on flight attendants; and

(iii)

fatigue countermeasures; and

(C)

the development and use of methodology that continually assesses the effectiveness of implementation of the plan, including the ability of the plan—

(i)

to improve alertness; and

(ii)

to mitigate performance errors.

(3)

Review

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall—

(A)

review each fatigue risk management plan submitted under this subsection; and

(B)
(i)

accept the plan; or

(ii)

reject the plan and provide the part 121 air carrier with suggested modifications to be included when the plan is resubmitted.

(4)

Plan updates

(A)

In general

Not less frequently than once every 2 years, each part 121 air carrier shall—

(i)

update the fatigue risk management plan submitted under paragraph (1); and

(ii)

submit the updated plan to the Administrator for review and acceptance.

(B)

Review

Not later than 1 year after the date on which an updated plan is submitted under subparagraph (A)(ii), the Administrator shall—

(i)

review the updated plan; and

(ii)
(I)

accept the updated plan; or

(II)

reject the updated plan and provide the part 121 air carrier with suggested modifications to be included when the updated plan is resubmitted.

(5)

Compliance

Each part 121 air carrier shall comply with its fatigue risk management plan after the plan is accepted by the Administrator under this subsection.

(6)

Civil penalties

A violation of this subsection by a part 121 air carrier shall be treated as a violation of chapter 447 of title 49, United States Code, for the purpose of applying civil penalties under chapter 463 of such title.

2307.

Training to combat human trafficking for certain air carrier employees

(a)

In general

Subchapter I of chapter 417 is amended by adding at the end the following:

41725.

Training to combat human trafficking

(a)

In general

Each air carrier providing passenger air transportation shall provide flight attendants who are employees or contractors of the air carrier with training to combat human trafficking in the course of carrying out their duties as employees or contractors of the air carrier.

(b)

Elements of training

The training an air carrier is required to provide under subsection (a) to flight attendants shall include training with respect to—

(1)

common indicators of human trafficking; and

(2)

best practices for reporting suspected human trafficking to law enforcement officers.

(c)

Materials

An air carrier may provide the training required by subsection (a) using modules and materials developed by the Department of Transportation and the Department of Homeland Security, including the training module and associated materials of the Blue Lightning Initiative and modules and materials subsequently developed and recommended by such Departments with respect to combating human trafficking.

(d)

Interagency coordination

The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall coordinate with the Secretary of Homeland Security to ensure that appropriate training modules and materials are available for air carriers to conduct the training required by subsection (a).

(e)

Human trafficking defined

In this section, the term human trafficking means 1 or more severe forms of trafficking in persons (as defined in section 103 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7102)).

.

(b)

Conforming amendment

The table of contents for chapter 417 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 41724 the following:

41725. Training to combat human trafficking.

.

(c)

Report required

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report that includes—

(1)

an assessment of the status of compliance of air carriers with section 41725 of title 49, United States Code, as added by subsection (a); and

(2)

in collaboration with the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security, recommendations for improving the identification and reporting of human trafficking by air carrier personnel while protecting the civil liberties of passengers.

(d)

Immunity for reporting human trafficking

Section 44941(a) is amended by striking or terrorism, as defined by section 3077 of title 18, United States Code, and inserting human trafficking (as defined by section 41725), or terrorism (as defined by section 3077 of title 18).

2308.

Report on obsolete test equipment

(a)

Report

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the National Test Equipment Program (referred to in this section as the Program).

(b)

Contents

The report shall include—

(1)

a list of all known outstanding requests for test equipment, cataloged by type and location, under the Program;

(2)

a description of the current method under the Program of ensuring calibrated equipment is in place for utilization;

(3)

a plan by the Administrator for appropriate inventory of such equipment; and

(4)

the Administrator's recommendations for increasing multifunctionality in future test equipment to be developed and all known and foreseeable manufacturer technological advances.

2309.

Plan for systems to provide direct warnings of potential runway incursions

(a)

In general

Not later than June 30, 2016, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall—

(1)

assess available technologies to determine whether it is feasible, cost-effective, and appropriate to install and deploy, at any airport, systems to provide a direct warning capability to flight crews and air traffic controllers of potential runway incursions; and

(2)

submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the assessment under paragraph (1), including any recommendations.

(b)

Considerations

In conducting the assessment under subsection (a), the Administration shall consider National Transportation Safety Board findings and relevant aviation stakeholder views relating to runway incursions.

2310.

Laser pointer incidents

(a)

In general

Beginning 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, in coordination with the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, shall provide quarterly updates to the appropriate committees of Congress regarding—

(1)

the number of incidents involving the beam from a laser pointer (as defined in section 39A of title 18, United States Code) being aimed at, or in the flight path of, an aircraft in the airspace jurisdiction of the United States;

(2)

the number of civil or criminal enforcement actions taken by the Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Transportation, or Department of Justice with regard to the incidents described in paragraph (1), including the amount of the civil or criminal penalties imposed on violators;

(3)

the resolution of any incidents that did not result in a civil or criminal enforcement action; and

(4)

any actions the Department of Transportation or Department of Justice has taken on its own, or in conjunction with other Federal agencies or local law enforcement agencies, to deter the type of activity described in paragraph (1).

(b)

Civil penalties

The Administrator shall revise the maximum civil penalty that may be imposed on an individual who aims the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft in the airspace jurisdiction of the United States, or at the flight path of such an aircraft, to be $25,000.

2311.

Helicopter air ambulance operations data and reports

(a)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, in collaboration with helicopter air ambulance industry stakeholders, shall assess the availability of information to the general public related to the location of heliports and helipads used by helicopters providing air ambulance services, including helipads and helipads outside of those listed as part of any existing databases of Airport Master Record (5010) forms.

(b)

Requirements

Based on the assessment under subsection (a), the Administrator shall—

(1)

update, as necessary, any existing guidance on what information is included in the current databases of Airport Master Record (5010) forms to include information related to heliports and helipads used by helicopters providing air ambulance services; or

(2)

develop, as appropriate and in collaboration with helicopter air ambulance industry stakeholders, a new database of heliports and helipads used by helicopters providing air ambulance services.

(c)

Reports

(1)

Assessment

Not later than 30 days after the date the assessment under subsection (a) is complete, the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the assessment, including any recommendations on how to make information related to the location of heliports and helipads used by helicopters providing air ambulance services available to the general public.

(2)

Implementation

Not later than 30 days after completing action under paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) of subsection (b), the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the implementation of that action.

(d)

Incident and accident data

Section 44731 is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)—

(A)

in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this section, and annually thereafter and inserting annually;

(B)

in paragraph (2), by striking flights and hours flown, by registration number, during which helicopters operated by the certificate holder were providing helicopter air ambulance services and inserting hours flown by the helicopters operated by the certificate holder;

(C)

in paragraph (3)—

(i)

by striking of flight and inserting of patients transported and the number of patient transport;

(ii)

by inserting or after interfacility transport,; and

(iii)

by striking , or ferry or repositioning flight;

(D)

in paragraph (5)—

(i)

by striking flights and; and

(ii)

by striking while providing air ambulance services; and

(E)

by amending paragraph (6) to read as follows:

(6)

The number of hours flown at night by helicopters operated by the certificate holder.

;

(2)

in subsection (d)—

(A)

by striking Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this section, and annually thereafter, the Administrator shall submit and inserting The Administrator shall submit annually; and

(B)

by adding at the end the following: The report shall include the number of accidents experienced by helicopter air ambulance operations, the number of fatal accidents experienced by helicopter air ambulance operations, and the rate, per 100,000 flight hours, of accidents and fatal accidents experienced by operators providing helicopter air ambulance services.;

(3)

by redesignating subsection (e) as subsection (f); and

(4)

by inserting after subsection (d) the following:

(e)

Implementation

In carrying out this section, the Administrator, in collaboration with part 135 certificate holders providing helicopter air ambulance services, shall—

(1)

propose and develop a method to collect and store the data submitted under subsection (a), including a method to protect the confidentiality of any trade secret or proprietary information submitted; and

(2)

ensure that the database under subsection (c) and the report under subsection (d) include data and analysis that will best inform efforts to improve the safety of helicopter air ambulance operations.

.

2312.

Part 135 accident and incident data

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall—

(1)

determine, in collaboration with the National Transportation Safety Board and Part 135 industry stakeholders, what, if any, additional data should be reported as part of an accident or incident notice to more accurately measure the safety of on-demand Part 135 aircraft activity, to pinpoint safety problems, and to form the basis for critical research and analysis of general aviation issues; and

(2)

submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the findings under paragraph (1), including a description of the additional data to be collected, a timeframe for implementing the additional data collection, and any potential obstacles to implementation.

2313.

Definition of human factors

Section 40102(a), as amended by section 2140 of this Act, is further amended—

(1)

by redesignating paragraphs (24) through (47) as paragraphs (25) through (48), respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after paragraph (23) the following:

(24)

human factors means a multidisciplinary field that generates and compiles information about human capabilities and limitations and applies it to design, development, and evaluation of equipment, systems, facilities, procedures, jobs, environments, staffing, organizations, and personnel management for safe, efficient, and effective human performance, including people’s use of technology.

.

2314.

Sense of Congress; pilot in command authority

It is the sense of Congress that the pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft, as set forth in section 91.3(a) of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor regulation thereto).

2315.

Enhancing ASIAS

(a)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, in consultation with relevant aviation industry stakeholders, shall assess what, if any, improvements are needed to develop the predictive capability of the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing program (referred to in this section as ASIAS) with regard to identifying precursors to accidents.

(b)

Contents

In conducting the assessment under subsection (a), the Administrator shall—

(1)

determine what actions are necessary—

(A)

to improve data quality and standardization; and

(B)

to increase the data received from additional segments of the aviation industry, such as small airplane, helicopter, and business jet operations;

(2)

consider how to prioritize the actions described in paragraph (1); and

(3)

review available methods for disseminating safety trend data from ASIAS to the aviation safety community, including the inspector workforce, to inform in their risk-based decision making efforts.

(c)

Report

Not later than 60 days after the date the assessment under subsection (a) is complete, the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the assessment, including recommendations regarding paragraphs (1) through (3) of subsection (b).

2316.

Improving runway safety

(a)

In general

The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall expedite the development of metrics—

(1)

to allow the Federal Aviation Administration to determine whether runway incursions are increasing; and

(2)

to assess the effectiveness of implemented runway safety initiatives.

(b)

Report

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the progress in developing the metrics described in subsection (a).

2317.

Safe air transportation of lithium cells and batteries

(a)

Restrictions on transportation of lithium batteries on aircraft

(1)

Adoption of ICAO instructions

(A)

In general

Pursuant to section 828 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 44701 note), not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Department of Transportation shall conform United States regulations on the air transport of lithium cells and batteries with the lithium cells and battery requirements in the 2015–2016 edition of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (referred to in this subsection as ICAO) Technical Instructions (to include all addenda) including the revised standards adopted by ICAO which became effective on April 1, 2016.

(B)

Further proceedings

Beginning on the date the revised regulations under subparagraph (A) are published in the Federal Register, any lithium cell and battery rulemaking action or update commenced on or after that date shall continue to comply with the requirements under section 828 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 44701 note).

(2)

Review of other regulations

Pursuant to section 828 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 44701 note), the Secretary of Transportation may initiate a review of other existing regulations regarding the air transportation, including passenger-carrying and cargo aircraft, of lithium batteries and cells.

(3)

Medical device batteries

(A)

In general

For United States applicants, the Secretary of Transportation shall consider and either grant or deny, within 45 days, applications submitted in compliance with part 107 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations for special permits or approvals for air transportation of lithium ion cells or batteries specifically used by medical devices. Not later than 30 days after the date of application, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration shall provide a draft special permit based on the application to the Federal Aviation Administration. The Federal Aviation Administration shall conduct an on-site inspection for issuance of the special permit not later than 10 days after the date of receipt of the draft special permit from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

(B)

Definition of medical device

In this paragraph, the term medical device has the meaning given the term device in section 201 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 321).

(4)

Savings clause

Nothing in this section shall be construed as expanding or constricting any other authority the Secretary of Transportation has under section 828 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 44701 note).

(b)

Lithium battery safety working group

Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall establish a lithium battery safety working group to promote and coordinate efforts related to the promotion of the safe manufacture, use, and transportation of lithium batteries and cells.

(1)

Composition

(A)

In general

The working group shall be composed of at least 1 representative from each of the following:

(i)

Consumer Product Safety Commission.

(ii)

Department of Transportation.

(iii)

National Institute on Standards and Technology.

(iv)

Food and Drug Administration.

(B)

Additional members

The working group may include not more than 4 additional members with expertise in the safe manufacture, use, or transportation of lithium batteries and cells.

(C)

Subcommittees

The President, or members of the working group, may—

(i)

establish working group subcommittees to focus on specific issues related to the safe manufacture, use, or transportation of lithium batteries and cells; and

(ii)

include in a subcommittee the participation of nonmember stakeholders with expertise in areas that the President or members consider necessary.

(2)

Report

Not later than 1 year after the date it is established under subsection (b), the working group shall—

(A)

research—

(i)

additional ways to decrease the risk of fires and explosions from lithium batteries and cells;

(ii)

additional ways to ensure uniform transportation requirements for both bulk and individual batteries; and

(iii)

new or existing technologies that could reduce the fire and explosion risk of lithium batteries and cells; and

(B)

transmit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the research under subparagraph (A), including any legislative recommendations to effectuate the safety improvements described in clauses (i) through (iii) of that subparagraph.

(3)

Exemption from FACA

The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the working group.

(4)

Termination

The working group, and any working group subcommittees, shall terminate 90 days after the date the report is transmitted under paragraph (2).

2318.

Prohibition on implementation of policy change to permit small, non-locking knives on aircraft

(a)

In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, on and after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security may not implement any change to the prohibited items list of the Transportation Security Administration that would permit passengers to carry small, non-locking knives through passenger screening checkpoints at airports, into sterile areas at airports, or on board passenger aircraft.

(b)

Prohibited items list defined

In this section, the term prohibited items list means the list of items passengers are prohibited from carrying as accessible property or on their persons through passenger screening checkpoints at airports, into sterile areas at airports, and on board passenger aircraft pursuant to section 1540.111 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations.

2319.

Aircraft cabin evacuation procedures

(a)

Review

The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall review—

(1)

evacuation certification of transport-category aircraft used in air transportation, with regard to—

(A)

emergency conditions, including impacts into water;

(B)

crew procedures used for evacuations under actual emergency conditions;

(C)

any relevant changes to passenger demographics and legal requirements, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.), that affect emergency evacuations; and

(D)

any relevant changes to passenger seating configurations, including changes to seat width, padding, reclining, size, pitch, leg room, and aisle width; and

(2)

recent accidents and incidents in which passengers evacuated such aircraft.

(b)

Consultation; review of data

In conducting the review under subsection (a), the Administrator shall—

(1)

consult with the National Transportation Safety Board, transport-category aircraft manufacturers, air carriers, and other relevant experts and Federal agencies, including groups representing passengers, airline crew members, maintenance employees, and emergency responders; and

(2)

review relevant data with respect to evacuation certification of transport-category aircraft.

(c)

Report to Congress

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the results of the review under subsection (a) and related recommendations, if any, including recommendations for revisions to the assumptions and methods used for assessing evacuation certification of transport-category aircraft.

2320.

GAO study of universal deployment of advanced imaging technologies

(a)

Study

The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study of the costs that would be incurred—

(1)

to redesign airport security areas to fully deploy advanced imaging technologies at all commercial airports at which security screening operations are conducted by the Transportation Security Administration or through the Screening Partnership Program; and

(2)

to fully deploy advanced imaging technologies at all airports not described in paragraph (1).

(b)

Cost analysis

As a part of the study conducted under subsection (a), the Comptroller General shall identify the costs that would be incurred—

(1)

to purchase the equipment and other assets necessary to deploy advanced imaging technologies at each airport;

(2)

to install such equipment and assets in each airport; and

(3)

to maintain such equipment and assets.

(c)

Report

Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit the results of the study conducted under subsection (a) to the appropriate committees of Congress.

D

General aviation safety

2401.

Automated weather observing systems policy

(a)

In general

Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall—

(1)

update automated weather observing systems standards to maximize the use of new technologies that promote the reduction of equipment or maintenance cost for non-Federal automated weather observing systems, including the use of remote monitoring and maintenance, unless demonstrated to be ineffective;

(2)

review, and if necessary update, existing policies in accordance with the standards developed under paragraph (1); and

(3)

establish a process under which appropriate on site airport personnel or an aviation official may, with appropriate manufacturer training or alternative training as determined by the Administrator, be permitted to conduct the minimum tri-annual preventative maintenance checks under the advisory circular for non-Federal automated weather observing systems (AC 150/5220–16D).

(b)

Permission

Permission to conduct the minimum tri-annual preventative maintenance checks described under subsection (a)(3) shall not be withheld but for specific cause.

(c)

Standards

In updating the standards under subsection (a)(1), the Administrator shall—

(1)

ensure the standards are performance-based;

(2)

use risk analysis to determine the accuracy of the automated weather observing systems outputs required for pilots to perform safe aircraft operations; and

(3)

provide a cost benefit analysis to determine whether the benefits outweigh the cost for any requirement not directly related to safety.

(d)

Report

Not later than September 30, 2017, the Administrator shall provide a report to the appropriate committees of Congress on the implementation of requirements under this section.

2402.

Tower marking

(a)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall issue regulations to require the marking of covered towers.

(b)

Marking required

The regulations under subsection (a) shall require that a covered tower be clearly marked in a manner that is consistent with applicable guidance under the Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular issued December 4, 2015 (AC 70/7460–1L) or other relevant safety guidance, as determined by the Administrator.

(c)

Application

The regulations issued under subsection (a) shall ensure that—

(1)

all covered towers constructed on or after the date on which such regulations take effect are marked in accordance with subsection (b); and

(2)

a covered tower constructed before the date on which such regulations take effect is marked in accordance with subsection (b) not later than 1 year after such effective date.

(d)

Definition of covered tower

(1)

In general

In this section, the term covered tower means a structure that—

(A)

is self-standing or supported by guy wires and ground anchors;

(B)

is 10 feet or less in diameter at the above-ground base, excluding concrete footing;

(C)

at the highest point of the structure is at least 50 feet above ground level;

(D)

at the highest point of the structure is not more than 200 feet above ground level;

(E)

has accessory facilities on which an antenna, sensor, camera, meteorological instrument, or other equipment is mounted; and

(F)

is located—

(i)

outside the boundaries of an incorporated city or town; or

(ii)

on land that is—

(I)

undeveloped; or

(II)

used for agricultural purposes.

(2)

Exclusions

The term covered tower does not include any structure that—

(A)

is adjacent to a house, barn, electric utility station, or other building;

(B)

is within the curtilage of a farmstead;

(C)

supports electric utility transmission or distribution lines;

(D)

is a wind powered electrical generator with a rotor blade radius that exceeds 6 feet; or

(E)

is a street light erected or maintained by a Federal, State, local, or tribal entity.

(e)

Database

The Administrator shall—

(1)

develop a database that contains the location and height of each covered tower;

(2)

keep the database current to the extent practicable;

(3)

ensure that any proprietary information in the database is protected from disclosure in accordance with law; and

(4)

ensure access to the database is limited to individuals, such as airmen, who require the information for aviation safety purposes only.

2403.

Crash-resistant fuel systems

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall evaluate and update, as necessary, standards for crash-resistant fuel systems for civilian rotorcraft.

2404.

Requirement to consult with stakeholders in defining scope and requirements for Future Flight Service Program

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall consult with general aviation stakeholders in defining the scope and requirements for any new Future Flight Service Program of the Administration to be used in a competitive source selection for the next flight service contract with the Administration.

2405.

Heads-up guidance system technologies

(a)

In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall initiate a review of heads-up guidance system displays (in this section referred to as HGS).

(b)

Contents

The review required by subsection (a) shall—

(1)

evaluate the impacts of single- and dual-installed HGS technology on the safety and efficiency of aircraft operations within the national airspace system;

(2)

review a sufficient quantity of commercial aviation accidents or incidents in order to evaluate if HGS technology would have produced a better outcome in that accident or incident; and

(3)

update previous HGS studies performed by the Flight Safety Foundation in 1991 and 2009.

(c)

Report

Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report containing the results of the review required by subsection (a).

E

General provisions

2501.

Designated agency safety and health officer

(a)

In general

Section 106 is amended by adding at the end the following:

(u)

Designated agency safety and health officer

(1)

Appointment

There shall be a Designated Agency Safety and Health Officer appointed by the Administrator who shall exclusively fulfill the duties prescribed in this subsection.

(2)

Responsibilities

The Designated Agency Safety and Health Officer shall have responsibility and accountability for—

(A)

auditing occupational safety and health issues across the Administration;

(B)

overseeing Administration-wide compliance with relevant Federal occupational safety and health statutes and regulations, national industry and consensus standards, and Administration policies; and

(C)

encouraging a culture of occupational safety and health to complement the Administration's existing safety culture.

(3)

Reporting structure

The Designated Agency Safety and Health Officer shall occupy a full-time, senior executive position and shall report directly to the Assistant Administrator for Human Resource Management.

(4)

Qualifications and removal

(A)

Qualifications

The Designated Agency Safety and Health Officer shall have demonstrated ability and experience in the establishment and administration of comprehensive occupational safety and health programs and knowledge of relevant Federal occupational safety and health statutes and regulations, national industry and consensus standards, and Administration policies.

(B)

Removal

The Designated Agency Safety and Health Officer shall serve at the pleasure of the Administrator.

.

(b)

Deadline for appointment

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall appoint an individual to serve as the Designated Agency Safety and Health Officer under section 106(u) of title 49, United States Code.

2502.

Repair stations located outside United States

(a)

Risk-based oversight

Section 44733 is amended—

(1)

by redesignating subsection (f) as subsection (g);

(2)

by inserting after subsection (e) the following:

(f)

Risk-based oversight

(1)

In general

Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, the Administrator shall take measures to ensure that the safety assessment system established under subsection (a)—

(A)

places particular consideration on inspections of part 145 repair stations located outside the United States that conduct scheduled heavy maintenance work on part 121 air carrier aircraft; and

(B)

accounts for the frequency and seriousness of any corrective actions that part 121 air carriers must implement to aircraft following such work at such repair stations.

(2)

International agreements

The Administrator shall take the measures required under paragraph (1)—

(A)

in accordance with the United States obligations under applicable international agreements; and

(B)

in a manner consistent with the applicable laws of the country in which a repair station is located.

(3)

Access to data

The Administrator may access and review such information or data in the possession of a part 121 air carrier as the Administrator may require in carrying out paragraph (1)(B).

; and

(3)

in subsection (g), as redesignated—

(A)

by redesignating paragraphs (1) and (2) as paragraphs (2) and (3), respectively; and

(B)

by inserting before paragraph (2), as redesignated, the following:

(1)

Heavy maintenance work

The term heavy maintenance work means a C-check, a D-check, or equivalent maintenance operation with respect to the airframe of a transport-category aircraft.

.

(b)

Alcohol and controlled substances testing

The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall ensure that—

(1)

not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, a notice of proposed rulemaking required pursuant to section 44733(d)(2) of title 49, United States Code, is published in the Federal Register; and

(2)

not later than 1 year after the date on which the notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register, the rulemaking is finalized.

(c)

Background investigations

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall ensure that each employee of a repair station certificated under part 145 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, who performs a safety-sensitive function on an air carrier aircraft has undergone a preemployment background investigation sufficient to determine whether the individual presents a threat to aviation safety, in a manner that is—

(1)

determined acceptable by the Administrator;

(2)

consistent with the applicable laws of the country in which the repair station is located; and

(3)

consistent with the United States obligations under international agreements.

2503.

FAA technical training

(a)

E-learning training pilot program

Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, in collaboration with the exclusive bargaining representatives of covered FAA personnel, shall establish an e-learning training pilot program in accordance with the requirements of this section.

(b)

Curriculum

The pilot program shall—

(1)

include a recurrent training curriculum for covered FAA personnel to ensure that the covered FAA personnel receive instruction on the latest aviation technologies, processes, and procedures;

(2)

focus on providing specialized technical training for covered FAA personnel, as determined necessary by the Administrator;

(3)

include training courses on applicable regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration; and

(4)

consider the efficacy of instructor-led online training.

(c)

Pilot program termination

The pilot program shall terminate 1 year after the date of establishment of the pilot program.

(d)

E-learning training program

Upon termination of the pilot program, the Administrator shall assess and establish or update an e-learning training program that incorporates lessons learned for covered FAA personnel as a result of the pilot program.

(e)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Covered FAA personnel

The term covered FAA personnel means airway transportation systems specialists and aviation safety inspectors of the Federal Aviation Administration.

(2)

E-learning training

The term e-learning training means learning utilizing electronic technologies to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom.

2504.

Safety critical staffing

(a)

Audit by DOT Inspector General

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation shall conduct and complete an audit of the staffing model used by the Federal Aviation Administration to determine the number of aviation safety inspectors that are needed to fulfill the mission of the Federal Aviation Administration and adequately ensure aviation safety.

(b)

Contents

The audit shall include, at a minimum—

(1)

a review of the staffing model and an analysis of how consistently the staffing model is applied throughout the Federal Aviation Administration's aviation safety lines of business;

(2)

a review of the assumptions and methods used in devising and implementing the staffing model to assess the adequacy of the staffing model to predict the number of aviation safety inspectors needed to properly fulfill the mission of the Federal Aviation Administration and meet the future growth of the aviation industry; and

(3)

a determination on whether the current staffing model takes into account the Federal Aviation Administration's authority to fully utilize designees.

(c)

Report

Not later than 30 days after the date of completion of the audit, the Inspector General shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the results of the audit.

2505.

Approach control radar in all air traffic control towers

The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall—

(1)

identify airports that are currently served by Federal Aviation Administration towers with non-radar approach and departure control (Type 4 tower); and

(2)

develop an implementation plan, including budgetary considerations, to provide the facilities identified under paragraph (1) with approach control radar.

2506.

Airspace management advisory committee

(a)

In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall establish an advisory committee to carry out the duties described in subsection (b).

(b)

Duties

The advisory committee shall—

(1)

conduct a review of the practices and procedures of the Federal Aviation Administration for developing proposals with respect to changes in regulations, policies, or guidance of the Federal Aviation Administration relating to airspace that affect airport operations, airport capacity, the environment, or communities in the vicinity of airports, including—

(A)

an assessment of the extent to which there is consultation, or a lack of consultation, with respect to such proposals—

(i)

between and among the affected elements of the Federal Aviation Administration, including the Air Traffic Organization, the Office of Airports, the Flight Standards Service, the Office of NextGen, and the Office of Energy and Environment; and

(ii)

between the Federal Aviation Administration and affected entities, including airports, aircraft operators, communities, and State and local governments;

(2)

recommend revisions to such practices and procedures to improve communications and coordination between and among affected elements of the Federal Aviation Administration and with other affected entities with respect to proposals described in paragraph (1) and the potential effects of such proposals;

(3)

conduct a review of the management by the Federal Aviation Administration of systems and information used to evaluate data relating to obstructions to air navigation or navigational facilities under part 77 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations; and

(4)

make recommendations to ensure that the data described in paragraph (3) is publicly accessible and streamlined to ensure developers, airport operators, and other interested parties may obtain relevant information concerning potential obstructions when working to preserve and create a safe and efficient navigable airspace.

(c)

Membership

The membership of the advisory committee established under subsection (a) shall include representatives of—

(1)

air carriers, including passenger and cargo air carriers;

(2)

general aviation, including business aviation and fixed wing aircraft and rotocraft;

(3)

airports of various sizes and types;

(4)

air traffic controllers; and

(5)

State aviation officials.

(d)

Report required

Not later than one year after the establishment of the advisory committee under subsection (a), the advisory committee shall submit to Congress a report on the actions taken by the advisory committee to carry out the duties described in subsection (b).

F

Third class medical reform and general aviation pilot protections

2601.

Short title

This subtitle may be cited as the Pilot's Bill of Rights 2.

2602.

Medical certification of certain small aircraft pilots

(a)

In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall issue or revise regulations to ensure that an individual may operate as pilot in command of a covered aircraft if—

(1)

the individual possesses a valid driver's license issued by a State, territory, or possession of the United States and complies with all medical requirements or restrictions associated with that license;

(2)

the individual holds a medical certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration on the date of enactment of this Act, held such a certificate at any point during the 10-year period preceding such date of enactment, or obtains such a certificate after such date of enactment;

(3)

the most recent medical certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration to the individual—

(A)

indicates whether the certificate is first, second, or third class;

(B)

may include authorization for special issuance;

(C)

may be expired;

(D)

cannot have been revoked or suspended; and

(E)

cannot have been withdrawn;

(4)

the most recent application for airman medical certification submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration by the individual cannot have been completed and denied;

(5)

the individual has completed a medical education course described in subsection (c) during the 24 calendar months before acting as pilot in command of a covered aircraft and demonstrates proof of completion of the course;

(6)

the individual, when serving as a pilot in command, is under the care and treatment of a physician if the individual has been diagnosed with any medical condition that may impact the ability of the individual to fly;

(7)

the individual has received a comprehensive medical examination from a State-licensed physician during the previous 48 months and—

(A)

prior to the examination, the individual—

(i)

completed the individual's section of the checklist described in subsection (b); and

(ii)

provided the completed checklist to the physician performing the examination; and

(B)

the physician conducted the comprehensive medical examination in accordance with the checklist described in subsection (b), checking each item specified during the examination and addressing, as medically appropriate, every medical condition listed, and any medications the individual is taking; and

(8)

the individual is operating in accordance with the following conditions:

(A)

The covered aircraft is carrying not more than 5 passengers.

(B)

The individual is operating the covered aircraft under visual flight rules or instrument flight rules.

(C)

The flight, including each portion of that flight, is not carried out—

(i)

for compensation or hire, including that no passenger or property on the flight is being carried for compensation or hire;

(ii)

at an altitude that is more than 18,000 feet above mean sea level;

(iii)

outside the United States, unless authorized by the country in which the flight is conducted; or

(iv)

at an indicated air speed exceeding 250 knots.

(b)

Comprehensive medical examination

(1)

In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall develop a checklist for an individual to complete and provide to the physician performing the comprehensive medical examination required in subsection (a)(7).

(2)

Requirements

The checklist shall contain—

(A)

a section, for the individual to complete that contains—

(i)

boxes 3 through 13 and boxes 16 through 19 of the Federal Aviation Administration Form 8500–8 (3–99);

(ii)

a signature line for the individual to affirm that—

(I)

the answers provided by the individual on that checklist, including the individual's answers regarding medical history, are true and complete;

(II)

the individual understands that he or she is prohibited under Federal Aviation Administration regulations from acting as pilot in command, or any other capacity as a required flight crew member, if he or she knows or has reason to know of any medical deficiency or medically disqualifying condition that would make the individual unable to operate the aircraft in a safe manner; and

(III)

the individual is aware of the regulations pertaining to the prohibition on operations during medical deficiency and has no medically disqualifying conditions in accordance with applicable law;

(B)

a section with instructions for the individual to provide the completed checklist to the physician performing the comprehensive medical examination required in subsection (a)(7); and

(C)

a section, for the physician to complete, that instructs the physician—

(i)

to perform a clinical examination of—

(I)

head, face, neck, and scalp;

(II)

nose, sinuses, mouth, and throat;

(III)

ears, general (internal and external canals), and eardrums (perforation);

(IV)

eyes (general), ophthalmoscopic, pupils (equality and reaction), and ocular motility (associated parallel movement, nystagmus);

(V)

lungs and chest (not including breast examination);

(VI)

heart (precordial activity, rhythm, sounds, and murmurs);

(VII)

vascular system (pulse, amplitude, and character, and arms, legs, and others);

(VIII)

abdomen and viscera (including hernia);

(IX)

anus (not including digital examination);

(X)

skin;

(XI)

G–U system (not including pelvic examination);

(XII)

upper and lower extremities (strength and range of motion);

(XIII)

spine and other musculoskeletal;

(XIV)

identifying body marks, scars, and tattoos (size and location);

(XV)

lymphatics;

(XVI)

neurologic (tendon reflexes, equilibrium, senses, cranial nerves, and coordination, etc.);

(XVII)

psychiatric (appearance, behavior, mood, communication, and memory);

(XVIII)

general systemic;

(XIX)

hearing;

(XX)

vision (distant, near, and intermediate vision, field of vision, color vision, and ocular alignment);

(XXI)

blood pressure and pulse; and

(XXII)

anything else the physician, in his or her medical judgment, considers necessary;

(ii)

to exercise medical discretion to address, as medically appropriate, any medical conditions identified, and to exercise medical discretion in determining whether any medical tests are warranted as part of the comprehensive medical examination;

(iii)

to discuss all drugs the individual reports taking (prescription and nonprescription) and their potential to interfere with the safe operation of an aircraft or motor vehicle;

(iv)

to sign the checklist, stating: I certify that I discussed all items on this checklist with the individual during my examination, discussed any medications the individual is taking that could interfere with their ability to safely operate an aircraft or motor vehicle, and performed an examination that included all of the items on this checklist. I certify that I am not aware of any medical condition that, as presently treated, could interfere with the individual's ability to safely operate an aircraft.; and

(v)

to provide the date the comprehensive medical examination was completed, and the physician's full name, address, telephone number, and State medical license number.

(3)

Logbook

The completed checklist shall be retained in the individual's logbook and made available on request.

(c)

Medical education course requirements

The medical education course described in this subsection shall—

(1)

be available on the Internet free of charge;

(2)

be developed and periodically updated in coordination with representatives of relevant nonprofit and not-for-profit general aviation stakeholder groups;

(3)

educate pilots on conducting medical self-assessments;

(4)

advise pilots on identifying warning signs of potential serious medical conditions;

(5)

identify risk mitigation strategies for medical conditions;

(6)

increase awareness of the impacts of potentially impairing over-the-counter and prescription drug medications;

(7)

encourage regular medical examinations and consultations with primary care physicians;

(8)

inform pilots of the regulations pertaining to the prohibition on operations during medical deficiency and medically disqualifying conditions;

(9)

provide the checklist developed by the Federal Aviation Administration in accordance with subsection (b); and

(10)

upon successful completion of the course, electronically provide to the individual and transmit to the Federal Aviation Administration—

(A)

a certification of completion of the medical education course, which shall be printed and retained in the individual's logbook and made available upon request, and shall contain the individual's name, address, and airman certificate number;

(B)

subject to subsection (d), a release authorizing the National Driver Register through a designated State Department of Motor Vehicles to furnish to the Federal Aviation Administration information pertaining to the individual's driving record;

(C)

a certification by the individual that the individual is under the care and treatment of a physician if the individual has been diagnosed with any medical condition that may impact the ability of the individual to fly, as required under (a)(6);

(D)

a form that includes—

(i)

the name, address, telephone number, and airman certificate number of the individual;

(ii)

the name, address, telephone number, and State medical license number of the physician performing the comprehensive medical examination required in subsection (a)(7);

(iii)

the date of the comprehensive medical examination required in subsection (a)(7); and

(iv)

a certification by the individual that the checklist described in subsection (b) was followed and signed by the physician in the comprehensive medical examination required in subsection (a)(7); and

(E)

a statement, which shall be printed, and signed by the individual certifying that the individual understands the existing prohibition on operations during medical deficiency by stating: I understand that I cannot act as pilot in command, or any other capacity as a required flight crew member, if I know or have reason to know of any medical condition that would make me unable to operate the aircraft in a safe manner..

(d)

National driver register

The authorization under subsection (c)(10)(B) shall be an authorization for a single access to the information contained in the National Driver Register.

(e)

Special issuance process

(1)

In general

An individual who has qualified for the third-class medical certificate exemption under subsection (a) and is seeking to serve as a pilot in command of a covered aircraft shall be required to have completed the process for obtaining an Authorization for Special Issuance of a Medical Certificate for each of the following:

(A)

A mental health disorder, limited to an established medical history or clinical diagnosis of—

(i)

personality disorder that is severe enough to have repeatedly manifested itself by overt acts;

(ii)

psychosis, defined as a case in which an individual—

(I)

has manifested delusions, hallucinations, grossly bizarre or disorganized behavior, or other commonly accepted symptoms of psychosis; or

(II)

may reasonably be expected to manifest delusions, hallucinations, grossly bizarre or disorganized behavior, or other commonly accepted symptoms of psychosis;

(iii)

bipolar disorder; or

(iv)

substance dependence within the previous 2 years, as defined in section 67.307(a)(4) of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations.

(B)

A neurological disorder, limited to an established medical history or clinical diagnosis of any of the following:

(i)

Epilepsy.

(ii)

Disturbance of consciousness without satisfactory medical explanation of the cause.

(iii)

A transient loss of control of nervous system functions without satisfactory medical explanation of the cause.

(C)

A cardiovascular condition, limited to a one-time special issuance for each diagnosis of the following:

(i)

Myocardial infraction.

(ii)

Coronary heart disease that has required treatment.

(iii)

Cardiac valve replacement.

(iv)

Heart replacement.

(2)

Special rule for cardiovascular conditions

In the case of an individual with a cardiovascular condition, the process for obtaining an Authorization for Special Issuance of a Medical Certificate shall be satisfied with the successful completion of an appropriate clinical evaluation without a mandatory wait period.

(3)

Special rule for mental health conditions

(A)

In the case of an individual with a clinically diagnosed mental health condition, the third-class medical certificate exemption under subsection (a) shall not apply if—

(i)

in the judgment of the individual's State-licensed medical specialist, the condition—

(I)

renders the individual unable to safely perform the duties or exercise the airman privileges described in subsection (a)(8); or

(II)

may reasonably be expected to make the individual unable to perform the duties or exercise the privileges described in subsection (a)(8); or

(ii)

the individual's driver's license is revoked by the issuing agency as a result of a clinically diagnosed mental health condition.

(B)

Subject to subparagraph (A), an individual clinically diagnosed with a mental health condition shall certify every 2 years, in conjunction with the certification under subsection (c)(10)(C), that the individual is under the care of a State-licensed medical specialist for that mental health condition.

(4)

Special rule for neurological conditions

(A)

In the case of an individual with a clinically diagnosed neurological condition, the third-class medical certificate exemption under subsection (a) shall not apply if—

(i)

in the judgment of the individual's State-licensed medical specialist, the condition—

(I)

renders the individual unable to safely perform the duties or exercise the airman privileges described in subsection (a)(8); or

(II)

may reasonably be expected to make the individual unable to perform the duties or exercise the privileges described in subsection (a)(8); or

(ii)

the individual's driver's license is revoked by the issuing agency as a result of a clinically diagnosed neurological condition.

(B)

Subject to subparagraph (A), an individual clinically diagnosed with a neurological condition shall certify every 2 years, in conjunction with the certification under subsection (c)(10)(C), that the individual is under the care of a State-licensed medical specialist for that neurological condition.

(f)

Identification of additional medical conditions for the caci program

(1)

In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall review and identify additional medical conditions that could be added to the program known as the Conditions AMEs Can Issue (CACI) program.

(2)

Consultations

In carrying out paragraph (1), the Administrator shall consult with aviation, medical, and union stakeholders.

(3)

Report required

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives a report listing the medical conditions that have been added to the CACI program under paragraph (1).

(g)

Expedited authorization for special issuance of a medical certificate

(1)

In general

The Administrator shall implement procedures to expedite the process for obtaining an Authorization for Special Issuance of a Medical Certificate under section 67.401 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations.

(2)

Consultations

In carrying out paragraph (1), the Administrator shall consult with aviation, medical, and union stakeholders.

(3)

Report required

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives a report describing how the procedures implemented under paragraph (1) will streamline the process for obtaining an Authorization for Special Issuance of a Medical Certificate and reduce the amount of time needed to review and decide special issuance cases.

(h)

Report required

Not later than 5 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator, in coordination with the National Transportation Safety Board, shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives a report that describes the effect of the regulations issued or revised under subsection (a) and includes statistics with respect to changes in small aircraft activity and safety incidents.

(i)

Prohibition on enforcement actions

Beginning on the date that is 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator may not take an enforcement action for not holding a valid third-class medical certificate against a pilot of a covered aircraft for a flight, through a good faith effort, if the pilot and the flight meet the applicable requirements under subsection (a), except paragraph (5) of that subsection, unless the Administrator has published final regulations in the Federal Register under that subsection.

(j)

Covered aircraft defined

In this section, the term covered aircraft means an aircraft that—

(1)

is authorized under Federal law to carry not more than 6 occupants; and

(2)

has a maximum certificated takeoff weight of not more than 6,000 pounds.

(k)

Operations covered

The provisions and requirements covered in this section do not apply to pilots who elect to operate under the medical requirements under subsection (b) or subsection (c) of section 61.23 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations.

(l)

Authority To require additional information

(1)

In general

If the Administrator receives credible or urgent information, including from the National Driver Register or the Administrator's Safety Hotline, that reflects on an individual's ability to safely operate a covered aircraft under the third-class medical certificate exemption in subsection (a), the Administrator may require the individual to provide additional information or history so that the Administrator may determine whether the individual is safe to continue operating a covered aircraft.

(2)

Use of information

The Administrator may use credible or urgent information received under paragraph (1) to request an individual to provide additional information or to take actions under section 44709(b) of title 49, United States Code.

2603.

Expansion of pilot's bill of rights

(a)

Appeals of suspended and revoked airman certificates

Section 2(d)(1) of the Pilot's Bill of Rights (Public Law 112–153; 126 Stat. 1159; 49 U.S.C. 44703 note) is amended by striking or imposing a punitive civil action or an emergency order of revocation under subsections (d) and (e) of section 44709 of such title and inserting suspending or revoking an airman certificate under section 44709(d) of such title, or imposing an emergency order of revocation under subsections (d) and (e) of section 44709 of such title.

(b)

De novo review by district court; burden of proof

Section 2(e) of the Pilot's Bill of Rights (Public Law 112–153; 126 Stat. 1159; 49 U.S.C. 44703 note) is amended—

(1)

by amending paragraph (1) to read as follows:

(1)

In general

In an appeal filed under subsection (d) in a United States district court with respect to a denial, suspension, or revocation of an airman certificate by the Administrator—

(A)

the district court shall review the denial, suspension, or revocation de novo, including by—

(i)

conducting a full independent review of the complete administrative record of the denial, suspension, or revocation;

(ii)

permitting additional discovery and the taking of additional evidence; and

(iii)

making the findings of fact and conclusions of law required by Rule 52 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure without being bound to any findings of fact of the Administrator or the National Transportation Safety Board.

;

(2)

by redesignating paragraph (2) as paragraph (3); and

(3)

by inserting after paragraph (1) the following:

(2)

Burden of proof

In an appeal filed under subsection (d) in a United States district court after an exhaustion of administrative remedies, the burden of proof shall be as follows:

(A)

In an appeal of the denial of an application for the issuance or renewal of an airman certificate under section 44703 of title 49, United States Code, the burden of proof shall be upon the applicant denied an airman certificate by the Administrator.

(B)

In an appeal of an order issued by the Administrator under section 44709 of title 49, United States Code, the burden of proof shall be upon the Administrator.

; and

(4)

by adding at the end the following:

(4)

Applicability of Administrative Procedure Act

Notwithstanding paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection or subsection (a)(1) of section 554 of title 5, United States Code, section 554 of such title shall apply to adjudications of the Administrator and the National Transportation Safety Board to the same extent as that section applied to such adjudications before the date of enactment of the Pilot's Bill of Rights 2.

.

(c)

Notification of investigation

Subsection (b) of section 2 of the Pilot's Bill of Rights (Public Law 112–153; 126 Stat. 1159; 49 U.S.C. 44703 note) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (2)(A), by inserting and the specific activity on which the investigation is based after nature of the investigation;

(2)

in paragraph (3), by striking timely; and

(3)

in paragraph (5), by striking section 44709(c)(2) and inserting section 44709(e)(2).

(d)

Release of investigative reports

Section 2 of the Pilot's Bill of Rights (Public Law 112–153; 126 Stat. 1159; 49 U.S.C. 44703 note) is further amended by inserting after subsection (e) the following:

(f)

Release of investigative reports

(1)

In general

(A)

Emergency orders

In any proceeding conducted under part 821 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, relating to the amendment, modification, suspension, or revocation of an airman certificate, in which the Administrator issues an emergency order under subsections (d) and (e) of section 44709, section 44710, or section 46105(c) of title 49, United States Code, or another order that takes effect immediately, the Administrator shall provide to the individual holding the airman certificate the releasable portion of the investigative report at the time the Administrator issues the order. If the complete Report of Investigation is not available at the time the Emergency Order is issued, the Administrator shall issue all portions of the report that are available at the time and shall provide the full report within 5 days of its completion.

(B)

Other orders

In any non-emergency proceeding conducted under part 821 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, relating to the amendment, modification, suspension, or revocation of an airman certificate, in which the Administrator notifies the certificate holder of a proposed certificate action under subsections (b) and (c) of section 44709 or section 44710 of title 49, United States Code, the Administrator shall, upon the written request of the covered certificate holder and at any time after that notification, provide to the covered certificate holder the releasable portion of the investigative report.

(2)

Motion for dismissal

If the Administrator does not provide the releasable portions of the investigative report to the individual holding the airman certificate subject to the proceeding referred to in paragraph (1) by the time required by that paragraph, the individual may move to dismiss the complaint of the Administrator or for other relief and, unless the Administrator establishes good cause for the failure to provide the investigative report or for a lack of timeliness, the administrative law judge shall order such relief as the judge considers appropriate.

(3)

Releasable portion of investigative report

For purposes of paragraph (1), the releasable portion of an investigative report is all information in the report, except for the following:

(A)

Information that is privileged.

(B)

Information that constitutes work product or reflects internal deliberative process.

(C)

Information that would disclose the identity of a confidential source.

(D)

Information the disclosure of which is prohibited by any other provision of law.

(E)

Information that is not relevant to the subject matter of the proceeding.

(F)

Information the Administrator can demonstrate is withheld for good cause.

(G)

Sensitive security information, as defined in section 15.5 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (or any corresponding similar ruling or regulation).

(4)

Rule of construction

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prevent the Administrator from releasing to an individual subject to an investigation described in subsection (b)(1)—

(A)

information in addition to the information included in the releasable portion of the investigative report; or

(B)

a copy of the investigative report before the Administrator issues a complaint.

.

2604.

Limitations on reexamination of certificate holders

(a)

In general

Section 44709(a) is amended—

(1)

by striking The Administrator and inserting the following:

(1)

In general

The Administrator

;

(2)

by striking reexamine and inserting , except as provided in paragraph (2), reexamine; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following:

(2)

Limitation on the reexamination of airman certificates

(A)

In general

The Administrator may not reexamine an airman holding a student, sport, recreational, or private pilot certificate issued under section 44703 of this title if the reexamination is ordered as a result of an event involving the fault of the Federal Aviation Administration or its designee, unless the Administrator has reasonable grounds—

(i)

to establish that the airman may not be qualified to exercise the privileges of a particular certificate or rating, based upon an act or omission committed by the airman while exercising those privileges, after the certificate or rating was issued by the Federal Aviation Administration or its designee; or

(ii)

to demonstrate that the airman obtained the certificate or the rating through fraudulent means or through an examination that was substantially and demonstrably inadequate to establish the airman's qualifications.

(B)

Notification requirements

Before taking any action to reexamine an airman under subparagraph (A), the Administrator shall provide to the airman—

(i)

a reasonable basis, described in detail, for requesting the reexamination; and

(ii)

any information gathered by the Federal Aviation Administration, that the Administrator determines is appropriate to provide, such as the scope and nature of the requested reexamination, that formed the basis for that justification.

.

(b)

Amendment, modification, suspension, or revocation of airman certificates after reexamination

Section 44709(b) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1), by redesignating subparagraphs (A) and (B) as clauses (i) and (ii), respectively, and indenting appropriately;

(2)

by redesignating paragraphs (1) and (2) as subparagraphs (A) and (B), respectively, and indenting appropriately;

(3)

in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), as redesignated, by striking The Administrator and inserting the following:

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Administrator

; and

(4)

by adding at the end the following:

(2)

Amendments, modifications, suspensions, and revocations of airman certificates after reexamination

(A)

In general

The Administrator may not issue an order to amend, modify, suspend, or revoke an airman certificate held by a student, sport, recreational, or private pilot and issued under section 44703 of this title after a reexamination of the airman holding the certificate unless the Administrator determines that the airman—

(i)

lacks the technical skills and competency, or care, judgment, and responsibility, necessary to hold and safely exercise the privileges of the certificate; or

(ii)

materially contributed to the issuance of the certificate by fraudulent means.

(B)

Standard of review

Any order of the Administrator under this paragraph shall be subject to the standard of review provided for under section 2 of the Pilot's Bill of Rights (49 U.S.C. 44703 note).

.

(c)

Conforming amendments

Section 44709(d)(1) is amended—

(1)

in subparagraph (A), by striking subsection (b)(1)(A) and inserting subsection (b)(1)(A)(i); and

(2)

in subparagraph (B), by striking subsection (b)(1)(B) and inserting subsection (b)(1)(A)(ii).

2605.

Expediting updates to notam program

(a)

In general

(1)

Beginning on the date that is 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration may not take any enforcement action against any individual for a violation of a NOTAM (as defined in section 3 of the Pilot's Bill of Rights (49 U.S.C. 44701 note)) until the Administrator certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that the Administrator has complied with the requirements of section 3 of the Pilot's Bill of Rights, as amended by this section.

(2)

In this subsection, the term appropriate congressional committees means—

(A)

the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate; and

(B)

the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.

(b)

Amendments

Section 3 of the Pilot's Bill of Rights (Public Law 112–153; 126 Stat. 1162; 49 U.S.C. 44701 note) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)(2)—

(A)

in the matter preceding subparagraph (A)—

(i)

by striking this Act and inserting the Pilot's Bill of Rights 2; and

(ii)

by striking begin and inserting complete the implementation of;

(B)

by amending subparagraph (B) to read as follows:

(B)

to continue developing and modernizing the NOTAM repository, in a public central location, to maintain and archive all NOTAMs, including the original content and form of the notices, the original date of publication, and any amendments to such notices with the date of each amendment, in a manner that is Internet-accessible, machine-readable, and searchable;

;

(C)

in subparagraph (C), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and

(D)

by adding at the end the following:

(D)

to specify the times during which temporary flight restrictions are in effect and the duration of a designation of special use airspace in a specific area.

; and

(2)

by amending subsection (d) to read as follows:

(d)

Designation of repository as sole source for NOTAMs

(1)

In general

The Administrator—

(A)

shall consider the repository for NOTAMs under subsection (a)(2)(B) to be the sole location for airmen to check for NOTAMs; and

(B)

may not consider a NOTAM to be announced or published until the NOTAM is included in the repository for NOTAMs under subsection (a)(2)(B).

(2)

Prohibition on taking action for violations of NOTAMs not in repository

(A)

In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), beginning on the date that the repository under subsection (a)(2)(B) is final and published, the Administrator may not take any enforcement action against an airman for a violation of a NOTAM during a flight if—

(i)

that NOTAM is not available through the repository before the commencement of the flight; and

(ii)

that NOTAM is not reasonably accessible and identifiable to the airman.

(B)

Exception for national security

Subparagraph (A) shall not apply in the case of an enforcement action for a violation of a NOTAM that directly relates to national security.

.

2606.

Accessibility of certain flight data

(a)

In general

Subchapter I of chapter 471 is amended by inserting after section 47124 the following:

47124a.

Accessibility of certain flight data

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Administration

The term Administration means the Federal Aviation Administration.

(2)

Administrator

The term Administrator means the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.

(3)

Applicable individual

The term applicable individual means an individual who is the subject of an investigation initiated by the Administrator related to a covered flight record.

(4)

Contract tower

The term contract tower means an air traffic control tower providing air traffic control services pursuant to a contract with the Administration under the contract air traffic control tower program under section 47124(b)(3).

(5)

Covered flight record

The term covered flight record means any air traffic data (as defined in section 2(b)(4)(B) of the Pilot's Bill of Rights (49 U.S.C. 44703 note)), created, maintained, or controlled by any program of the Administration, including any program of the Administration carried out by employees or contractors of the Administration, such as contract towers, flight service stations, and controller training programs.

(b)

Provision of covered flight record to administration

(1)

Requests

Whenever the Administration receives a written request for a covered flight record from an applicable individual and the covered flight record is not in the possession of the Administration, the Administrator shall request the covered flight record from the contract tower or other contractor of the Administration in possession of the covered flight record.

(2)

Provision of records

Any covered flight record created, maintained, or controlled by a contract tower or another contractor of the Administration that maintains covered flight records shall be provided to the Administration if the Administration requests the record pursuant to paragraph (1).

(3)

Notice of proposed certificate action

If the Administrator has issued, or subsequently issues, a Notice of Proposed Certificate Action relying on evidence contained in the covered flight record and the individual who is the subject of an investigation has requested the record, the Administrator shall promptly produce the record and extend the time the individual has to respond to the Notice of Proposed Certificate Action until the covered flight record is provided.

(c)

Implementation

(1)

In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of the Pilot's Bill of Rights 2, the Administrator shall promulgate regulations or guidance to ensure compliance with this section.

(2)

Compliance by contractors

(A)

Compliance with this section by a contract tower or other contractor of the Administration that maintains covered flight records shall be included as a material term in any contract between the Administration and the contract tower or contractor entered into or renewed on or after the date of enactment of the Pilot's Bill of Rights 2.

(B)

Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to any contract or agreement in effect on the date of enactment of the Pilot's Bill of Rights 2 unless the contract or agreement is renegotiated, renewed, or modified after that date.

.

(b)

Technical and conforming amendments

The table of contents for chapter 471 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 47124 the following:

47124a. Accessibility of certain flight data.

.

2607.

Authority for legal counsel to issue certain notices

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall revise section 13.11 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, to authorize legal counsel of the Federal Aviation Administration to close enforcement actions covered by that section with a warning notice, letter of correction, or other administrative action.

III

Air service improvements

3001.

Definitions

In this title:

(1)

Covered air carrier

The term covered air carrier means an air carrier or a foreign air carrier as those terms are defined in section 40102 of title 49, United States Code.

(2)

Online service

The term online service means any service available over the Internet, or that connects to the Internet or a wide-area network.

(3)

Ticket agent

The term ticket agent has the meaning given the term in section 40102 of title 49, United States Code.

A

Passenger air service improvements

3101.

Causes of airline delays or cancellations

(a)

Review

(1)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall review the categorization of delays and cancellations with respect to air carriers that are required to report such data.

(2)

Considerations

In conducting the review under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consider, at a minimum—

(A)

whether delays and cancellations attributed by an air carrier to weather were unavoidable due to an operational or air traffic control issue, or due to the air carrier's preference in determining which flights to delay or cancel during a weather event;

(B)

whether and to what extent delays and cancellations attributed by an air carrier to weather disproportionately impact service to smaller airports and communities; and

(C)

whether it is an unfair or deceptive practice in violation of section 41712 of title 49, United States Code, for an air carrier to inform a passenger that a flight is delayed or cancelled due to weather, without any other context or explanation for the delay or cancellation, when the air carrier has discretion as to which flights to delay or cancel.

(3)

Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection

The Secretary may use the Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection, established under section 411 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 42301 prec. note), to assist in conducting the review and providing recommendations.

(b)

Report

Not later than 90 days after the date the review under subsection (a) is complete, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the review under subsection (a), including any recommendations.

(c)

Savings provision

Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting the decision of an air carrier to maximize its system capacity during weather-related events to accommodate the greatest number of passengers.

3102.

Involuntary changes to itineraries

(a)

Review

(1)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall review whether it is an unfair or deceptive practice in violation of section 41712 of title 49, United States Code, for an air carrier to change the itinerary of a passenger, more than 24 hours before departure, if the new itinerary involves additional stops or departs 3 hours earlier or later and compensation or other more suitable air transportation is not offered.

(2)

Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection

The Secretary may use the Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection, established under section 411 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (49 U.S.C. 42301 prec. note), to assist in conducting the review and providing recommendations.

(b)

Report

Not later than 90 days after the date the review under subsection (a) is complete, the Secretary shall submit to appropriate committees of Congress a report on the review under subsection (a), including any recommendations.

3103.

Additional consumer protections

Not later than 180 days after the date that the reviews under sections 3101 and 3102 of this Act are complete, the Secretary of Transportation shall issue a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking to its notice of proposed rulemaking published in the Federal Register on May 23, 2014 (DOT–OST–2014–0056) (relating to the transparency of airline ancillary fees and other consumer protection issues) to consider the following:

(1)

Requiring an air carrier to provide notification and refunds or other consideration to a consumer who is impacted by delays or cancellations when an air carrier has a choice as to which flights to cancel or delay during a weather-related event.

(2)

Requiring an air carrier to provide notification and refunds or other consideration to a consumer who is impacted by involuntary changes to the consumer's itinerary.

3104.

Addressing the needs of families of passengers involved in aircraft accidents

(a)

Air carriers holding certificates of public convenience and necessity

Section 41113 is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a), by striking a major and inserting any;

(2)

in subsection (b)—

(A)

in paragraph (9), by striking (and any other victim of the accident) and inserting (and any other victim of the accident, including any victim on the ground);

(B)

in paragraph (16), by striking major and inserting any; and

(C)

in paragraph (17)(A), by striking significant and inserting any; and

(3)

by amending subsection (e) to read as follows:

(e)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Aircraft accident means any aviation disaster, regardless of its cause or suspected cause, for which the National Transportation Safety Board is the lead investigative agency.

(2)

Passenger has the meaning given the term in section 1136.

.

(b)

Foreign air carriers providing foreign air transportation

Section 41313 is amended—

(1)

in subsection (b), by striking a major and inserting any; and

(2)

in subsection (c)—

(A)

in paragraph (1), by striking a significant and inserting any;

(B)

in paragraph (2), by striking a significant and inserting any;

(C)

in paragraph (16), by striking major and inserting any; and

(D)

in paragraph (17)(A), by striking significant and inserting any.

(c)

National Transportation Safety Board

Section 1136(a) is amended by striking aircraft accident within the United States involving an air carrier or foreign air carrier and resulting in a major loss of life and inserting aircraft accident involving an air carrier or foreign air carrier, resulting in any loss of life, and for which the National Transportation Safety Board will serve as the lead investigative agency.

3105.

Emergency medical kits

(a)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall evaluate and revise, as appropriate, the regulations under part 121 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, regarding the emergency medical equipment requirements, including the contents of the first-aid kit, applicable to all certificate holders operating passenger-carrying airplanes under that part.

(b)

Considerations

In carrying out subsection (a), the Administrator shall consider whether the minimum contents of approved emergency medical kits, including approved first-aid kits, include appropriate medications and equipment to meet the emergency medical needs of children, including consideration of an epinephrine auto-injector, as appropriate.

3106.

Travelers with disabilities

(a)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall—

(1)

conduct a study of airport accessibility best practices for individuals with disabilities; and

(2)

submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the study, including the Comptroller General’s findings, conclusions, and recommendations.

(b)

Contents

The study under subsection (a) shall include accessibility best practices beyond those recommended under the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4151 et seq.), Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 701 et seq.), Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 (100 Stat. 1080; Public Law 99–435), or Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.), that improve infrastructure and communications, such as with regard to wayfinding, amenities, and passenger care.

3107.

Extension of Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection

(a)

Termination

Section 411(h) of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–95; 49 U.S.C. 42301 prec. note) is amended by striking July 15, 2016 and inserting September 30, 2017.

(b)

Financial disclosure

Section 411 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–95; 49 U.S.C. 42301 prec. note) is further amended—

(1)

by redesignating subsection (h) as subsection (i); and

(2)

by inserting before subsection (i), the following:

(h)

Conflict of interest disclosure

Beginning on the date of enactment of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, each member of the advisory committee who is not a government employee shall disclose, on an annual basis, any potential conflicts of interest, including financial conflicts of interest, to the Secretary in such form and manner as prescribed by the Secretary.

.

(c)

Recommendations

Section 411(g) of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–95; 49 U.S.C. 42301 prec. note) is amended—

(1)

by striking of the first 2 calendar years beginning after the date of enactment of this Act and inserting calendar year; and

(2)

by inserting and post on the Department of Transportation Web site after Congress.

3108.

Extension of competitive access reports

Section 47107(r)(3) is amended by striking July 16, 2016 and inserting October 1, 2017.

3109.

Refunds for delayed baggage

(a)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall issue final regulations to require a covered air carrier to promptly provide an automatic refund to a passenger in the amount of any applicable ancillary fees paid if the covered air carrier has charged the passenger an ancillary fee for checked baggage but the covered air carrier fails to deliver the checked baggage to the passenger not later than 6 hours after the arrival of a domestic flight or 12 hours after the arrival of an international flight.

(b)

Exception

If as part of the rulemaking the Secretary makes a determination on the record that a requirement under subsection (a) is unfeasible and will negatively affect consumers in certain cases, the Secretary may modify 1 or both of the deadlines in that subsection for such cases, except that—

(1)

the deadline relating to a domestic flight may not exceed 12 hours after the arrival of the domestic flight; and

(2)

the deadline relating to an international flight may not exceed 24 hours after the arrival of the international flight.

3110.

Refunds for other fees that are not honored by a covered air carrier

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall promulgate regulations that require each covered air carrier to promptly provide an automatic refund to a passenger of any ancillary fees paid for services that the passenger does not receive, including on the passenger's scheduled flight, on a subsequent replacement itinerary if there has been a rescheduling, or for a flight not taken by the passenger.

3111.

Disclosure of fees to consumers

(a)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall issue final regulations requiring—

(1)

each covered air carrier to disclose to a consumer the baggage fee, cancellation fee, change fee, ticketing fee, and seat selection fee of that covered air carrier in a standardized format; and

(2)

notwithstanding the manner in which information regarding the fees described in paragraph (1) is collected, each ticket agent to disclose to a consumer such fees of a covered air carrier in the standardized format described in paragraph (1).

(b)

Requirements

The regulations under subsection (a) shall require that each disclosure—

(1)

if ticketing is done on an Internet Web site or other online service—

(A)

be prominently displayed to the consumer prior to the point of purchase; and

(B)

set forth the fees described in subsection (a)(1) in clear and plain language and a font of easily readable size; and

(2)

if ticketing is done on the telephone, be expressly stated to the consumer during the telephone call and prior to the point of purchase.

3112.

Seat assignments

(a)

In general

Not later than 15 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall complete such actions as may be necessary to require each covered air carrier and ticket agent to disclose to a consumer that seat selection for which a fee is charged is an optional service, and that if a consumer does not pay for a seat assignment, a seat will be assigned to the consumer from available inventory at the time the consumer checks in for the flight or prior to departure.

(b)

Requirements

The disclosure under subsection (a) shall—

(1)

if ticketing is done on an Internet Web site or other online service, be prominently displayed to the consumer on that Internet Web site or online service during the selection of seating or prior to the point of purchase; and

(2)

if ticketing is done on the telephone, be expressly stated to the consumer during the telephone call and prior to the point of purchase.

3113.

Lasting improvements to family travel

(a)

Short title

This section may be cited as the Lasting Improvements to Family Travel Act or the LIFT Act.

(b)

Accompanying minors for security screening

The Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration shall formalize security screening procedures that allow for one adult family caregiver to accompany a minor child throughout the entirety of the security screening process.

(c)

Special accommodations for pregnant women

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall review and, if appropriate, prescribe regulations that direct all air carriers to include pregnant women in their policies with respect to preboarding or advance boarding of aircraft.

(d)

Family seating

Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall review and, if appropriate, establish a policy directing all air carriers to ensure that, if a family is traveling on a reservation with a child under the age of 13, that child is able to sit in a seat adjacent to the seat of an accompanying family member over the age of 13, to the maximum extent practicable, at no additional cost.

3114.

Consumer complaint process improvement

(a)

In general

Section 42302 is amended—

(1)

by redesignating subsections (b) and (c) as subsections (c) and (d), respectively;

(2)

by inserting after subsection (a), the following:

(b)

Point of sale

Each air carrier, foreign air carrier, and ticket agent shall inform each consumer of a carrier service, at the point of sale, that the consumer can file a complaint about that service with the carrier and with the Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Transportation.

;

(3)

by amending subsection (c), as redesignated, to read as follows:

(c)

Internet Web site or other online service notice

Each air carrier and foreign air carrier shall include on its Internet Web site, any related mobile device application, and online service—

(1)

the hotline telephone number established under subsection (a) or for the Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Transportation;

(2)

an active link and the email address, telephone number, and mailing address of the air carrier or foreign air carrier, as applicable, for a consumer to submit a complaint to the carrier about the quality of service;

(3)

notice that the consumer can file a complaint with the Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Transportation;

(4)

an active link to the Internet Web site of the Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Transportation for a consumer to file a complaint; and

(5)

the active link described in paragraph (2) on the same Internet Web site page as the active link described in paragraph (4).

; and

(4)

in subsection (d), as redesignated—

(A)

in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking An air carrier or foreign air carrier providing scheduled air transportation using any aircraft that as originally designed has a passenger capacity of 30 or more passenger seats and inserting Each air carrier and foreign air carrier;

(B)

in paragraph (1), by striking air carrier and inserting carrier; and

(C)

in paragraph (2), by striking air carrier and inserting carrier.

(b)

Rulemaking

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall promulgate regulations to implement the requirements of section 42302 of title 49, United States Code, as amended.

3115.

Online access to aviation consumer protection information

(a)

Internet web site

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall—

(1)

complete an evaluation of the aviation consumer protection portion of the Department of Transportation's public Internet Web site to identify any changes to the user interface that will improve usability, accessibility, consumer satisfaction, and Web site performance;

(2)

in completing the evaluation under paragraph (1)—

(A)

consider the best practices of other Federal agencies with effective Web sites; and

(B)

consult with the Federal Web Managers Council;

(3)

develop a plan, including an implementation timeline, for—

(A)

making the changes identified under paragraph (1); and

(B)

making any necessary changes to that portion of the Web site that will enable a consumer—

(i)

to access information regarding each complaint filed with the Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Transportation;

(ii)

to search the complaints described in clause (i) by the name of the air carrier, the dates of departure and arrival, the airports of origin and departure, and the type of complaint; and

(iii)

to determine the date a complaint was filed and the date a complaint was resolved; and

(4)

submit the evaluation and plan to appropriate committees of Congress.

(b)

Mobile application software

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall—

(1)

implement a program to develop application software for wireless devices that will enable a user to access information and perform activities related to aviation consumer protection, such as—

(A)

information regarding airline passenger protections, including protections related to lost baggage and baggage fees, disclosure of additional fees, bumping, cancelled or delayed flights, damaged or lost baggage, and tarmac delays; and

(B)

file an aviation consumer complaint, including a safety and security, airline service, disability and discrimination, or privacy complaint, with the Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Transportation; and

(2)

make the application software available to the public at no cost.

3116.

Study on in cabin wheelchair restraint systems

Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, in consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, shall conduct a study to determine the ways in which particular individuals with significant disabilities who use wheelchairs, including power wheelchairs, can be accommodated through in cabin wheelchair restraint systems.

3117.

Training policies regarding assistance for persons with disabilities

(a)

In general

Not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to Congress a report describing—

(1)

each air carrier's training policy for its personnel and contractors regarding assistance for persons with disabilities, as required by Department of Transportation regulations;

(2)

any variations among the air carriers in the policies described in paragraph (1);

(3)

how the training policies are implemented to meet the Department of Transportation regulations;

(4)

how frequently an air carrier must train new employees and contractors due to turnover in positions that require such training;

(5)

how frequently, in the prior 10 years, the Department of Transportation has requested, after reviewing a training policy, that an air carrier take corrective action; and

(6)

the action taken by an air carrier under paragraph (5).

(b)

Best practices

After the date the report is submitted under subsection (a), the Secretary of Transportation, based on the findings of the report, shall develop and disseminate to air carriers such best practices as the Secretary considers necessary to improve the training policies.

3118.

Advisory committee on the air travel needs of passengers with disabilities

(a)

Establishment

The Secretary of Transportation shall establish an advisory committee for the air travel needs of passengers with disabilities (referred to in this section as the Advisory Committee).

(b)

Duties

The Advisory Committee shall advise the Secretary with regard to the implementation of the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 (Public Law 99–435; 100 Stat. 1080), including—

(1)

assessing the disability-related access barriers encountered by passengers with disabilities;

(2)

determining the extent to which the programs and activities of the Department of Transportation are addressing the barriers described in paragraph (1);

(3)

recommending improvements to the air travel experience of passengers with disabilities; and

(4)

such activities as the Secretary considers necessary to carry out this section.

(c)

Membership

(1)

In general

The Advisory Committee shall be comprised of at least 1 representative of each of the following groups:

(A)

Passengers with disabilities.

(B)

National disability organizations.

(C)

Air carriers.

(D)

Airport operators.

(E)

Contractor service providers.

(2)

Appointment

The Secretary of Transportation shall appoint each member of the Advisory Committee.

(3)

Vacancies

A vacancy in the Advisory Committee shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made.

(d)

Chairperson

The Secretary of Transportation shall designate, from among the members appointed under subsection (c), an individual to serve as chairperson of the Advisory Committee.

(e)

Travel expenses

Members of the advisory committee shall serve without pay, but shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code.

(f)

Reports

(1)

In general

Not later than February 1 of each year, the Advisory Committee shall submit to the Secretary of Transportation a report on the needs of passengers with disabilities in air travel, including—

(A)

an assessment of disability-related access barriers, both those that were evident in the preceding year and those that will likely be an issue in the next 5 years;

(B)

an evaluation of the extent to which the Department of Transportation’s programs and activities are eliminating disability-related access barriers;

(C)

a description of the Advisory Committee’s actions during the prior calendar year;

(D)

a description of activities that the Advisory Committee proposed to undertake in the succeeding calendar year; and

(E)

any recommendations for legislation, administrative action, or other action that the Advisory Committee considers appropriate.

(2)

Report to Congress

Not later than 60 days after the date the Secretary receives the report under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall submit to Congress a copy of the report, including any additional findings or recommendations that the Secretary considers appropriate.

(g)

Termination

The Advisory Committee shall terminate 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act.

3119.

Report on covered air carrier change, cancellation, and baggage fees

(a)

In general

The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study of existing airline industry change, cancellation, and bag fees and the current industry practice for handling changes to or cancellation of ticketed travel on covered air carriers.

(b)

Considerations

In conducting the study, the Comptroller General shall consider, at a minimum—

(1)

whether and how each covered air carrier calculates its change fees, cancellation fees, and bag fees; and

(2)

the relationship between the cost of the ticket and the date of change or cancellation as compared to the date of travel.

(c)

Report

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the study, including the Comptroller General’s findings, conclusions, and recommendations.

3120.

Enforcement of aviation consumer protection rules

(a)

In general

The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study to consider and evaluate Department of Transportation enforcement of aviation consumer protection rules.

(b)

Contents

The study under subsection (a) shall include an evaluation of—

(1)

available enforcement mechanisms;

(2)

any obstacles to enforcement; and

(3)

trends in Department of Transportation enforcement actions.

(c)

Report

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the study, including the Comptroller General’s findings, conclusions, and recommendations.

3121.

Dimensions for passenger seats

(a)

In general

Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall initiate a proceeding to study the minimum seat pitch for passenger seats on aircraft operated by air carriers (as defined in section 40102 of title 49, United States Code).

(b)

Considerations

In reviewing any minimum seat pitch under subsection (a), the Secretary shall consider the safety of passengers, including passengers with disabilities.

3122.

Cell phone voice communications

(a)

In general

Subchapter I of chapter 417, as amended by section 2307 of this Act, is further amended by adding at the end the following:

41726.

Cell phone voice communications

(a)

Prohibition authority

The Secretary of Transportation may issue regulations—

(1)

to prohibit an individual on an aircraft from engaging in voice communications using a mobile communications device during a flight of that aircraft in scheduled passenger interstate or intrastate air transportation; and

(2)

that exempt from the prohibition described in paragraph (1)—

(A)

any member of the flight crew on duty on an aircraft;

(B)

any flight attendant on duty on an aircraft; and

(C)

any Federal law enforcement officer acting in an official capacity.

(b)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Flight

The term flight means, with respect to an aircraft, the period beginning when the aircraft takes off and ending when the aircraft lands.

(2)

Mobile communications device

(A)

In general

The term mobile communications device means any portable wireless telecommunications equipment utilized for the transmission or reception of voice data.

(B)

Limitation

The term mobile communications device does not include a phone installed on an aircraft.

.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents at the beginning of chapter 417, as amended by section 2307 of this Act, is further amended by inserting after the item relating to section 41725 the following:

41726. Cell phone voice communications.

.

3123.

Availability of slots for new entrant air carriers at Newark Liberty International Airport

(a)

Definitions

The terms new entrant air carrier and slot have the meanings given those terms in section 41714(h) of title 49, United States Code.

(b)

Slots for new entrant air carriers

The Secretary shall, annually, by granting exemptions from the requirements under part 93 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, or by other means, make not less than 8 slots at Newark Liberty International Airport available to enable new entrant air carriers to provide air transportation.

(c)

Applicability

Subsection (a) shall not apply in any year—

(1)

new entrant air carriers operate 5 percent or more of the total number of slots at Newark Liberty International Airport; or

(2)

the Secretary makes a determination that making slots available to enable new entrant air carriers to provide air transportation at that airport is not in the public interest and doing so would significantly increase operational delays.

(d)

Report to Congress

The Secretary shall notify the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives not later than 14 calendar days after the date a determination is made under subsection (c)(2), including the reasons for that determination.

B

Essential air service

3201.

Essential air service

(a)

Authorization extension

Section 41742(a) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (2), by striking $150,000,000 and all that follows though July 15, 2016 and inserting $155,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2016 through 2017; and

(2)

by striking paragraph (3).

(b)

Definitions

Section 41731(a)(1)(A) is amended by striking clause (ii) and inserting the following:

(ii)

was determined, on or after October 1, 1988, and before December 1, 2012, under this subchapter by the Secretary of Transportation to be eligible to receive subsidized small community air service under section 41736(a);

.

(c)

Seasonal service

The Secretary of Transportation may consider the flexibility of current operational dates and airport accessibility to meet local community needs when issuing requests for proposal of essential air service at seasonal airports.

3202.

Small community air service development program

(a)

Extension of authorization

Section 41743(e)(2) is amended to read as follows:

(2)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2016 through 2017 to carry out this section. Such sums shall remain available until expended.

.

(b)

Eligibility

Section 41743(c)(1) is amended to read as follows:

(1)

Size

On the date of the most recent notice of order soliciting community proposals issued by the Secretary under this section, the airport serving the community or consortium—

(A)

was not larger than a small hub airport, as determined using the Department of Transportation’s most recent published classification; and

(B)
(i)

had insufficient air carrier service; or

(ii)

had unreasonably high air fares.

.

3203.

Small community program amendments

(a)

In general

Section 41743(c)(4) is amended—

(1)

by inserting (B) Same projects.— before the second sentence and indenting appropriately;

(2)

by inserting (A) In general.— before the first sentence and indenting appropriately;

(3)

in subparagraph (B), as designated by this subsection, by striking No community and inserting Except as provided in subparagraph (C); and

(4)

by adding at the end the following:

(C)

Exception

The Secretary may waive the limitation under subparagraph (B) related to projects that are the same if the Secretary determines that the community or consortium spent little or no money on its previous project or encountered industry or environmental challenges, due to circumstances that were reasonably beyond the control of the community or consortium.

.

(b)

Authority To make agreements

Section 41743(e)(1) is amended by adding at the end the following: The Secretary may amend the scope of a grant agreement at the request of the community or consortium and any participating air carrier, and may limit the scope of a grant agreement to only the elements using grant assistance or to only the elements achieved, if the Secretary determines that the amendment is reasonably consistent with the original purpose of the project..

3204.

Waivers

Section 41732 is amended by adding at the end the following:

(c)

Waivers

Notwithstanding section 41733(e), upon request by an eligible place, the Secretary may waive, in whole or in part, subsections (a) and (b) of this section or subsections (a) through (c) of section 41734. A waiver issued under this subsection shall remain in effect for a limited period of time, as determined by the Secretary.

.

3205.

Working group on improving air service to small communities

(a)

In general

Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation and the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall establish a working group—

(1)

to identify obstacles to attracting and maintaining air transportation service to and from small communities; and

(2)

to develop recommendations for maintaining and improving air transportation service to and from small communities.

(b)

Outreach

In carrying out the requirements under paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a), the working group shall consult with—

(1)

interested Governors;

(2)

representatives of State and local agencies, and other officials and groups, representing rural States and other rural areas;

(3)

other representatives of relevant State and local agencies; and

(4)

members of the public with experience in aviation safety, pilot training, economic development, and related issues.

(c)

Considerations

In carrying out the requirements under paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a), the working group shall—

(1)

consider whether funding for, and terms of, current or potential new programs is sufficient to help ensure continuation of or improvement to air transportation service to small communities, including the Essential Air Service Program and the Small Community Air Service Development Program;

(2)

identify initiatives to help support pilot training to provide air transportation service to small communities;

(3)

consider whether Federal funding for airports serving small communities, including airports that have lost air transportation services or had decreased enplanements in recent years, is adequate to ensure that small communities have access to quality, affordable air transportation service;

(4)

consider potential improvements in pilot training and any constraints affecting pilot career pathways that, if addressed, would increase both aviation safety and pilot supply;

(5)

identify innovative State or local efforts that have established public-private partnerships that are successful in attracting and retaining air transportation service in small communities; and

(6)

consider such other issues as the Secretary and Administrator consider appropriate.

(d)

Composition

(1)

In general

The working group shall be facilitated through the Administrator or the Administrator's designee.

(2)

Membership

Members of the working group shall be appointed by the Administrator and shall include representatives of—

(A)

State and local government, including State and local aviation officials;

(B)

State Governors;

(C)

aviation safety experts;

(D)

economic development officials; and

(E)

the traveling public from small communities.

(e)

Report and Recommendations

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary and the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report, including—

(1)

a summary of the views expressed by the participants in the outreach under subsection (b);

(2)

a description of the working group's findings, including the identification of any areas of general consensus among the non-Federal participants in the outreach under subsection (b); and

(3)

any recommendations for legislative or regulatory action that would assist in maintaining and improving air transportation service to and from small communities.

IV

NextGen and FAA organization

4001.

Definitions

In this title:

(1)

Administration

The term Administration means the Federal Aviation Administration.

(2)

Administrator

The term Administrator means the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.

(3)

ADS–B

The term ADS–B means automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast.

(4)

ADS–B Out

The term ADS–B Out means automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast with the ability to transmit information from the aircraft to ground stations and to other equipped aircraft.

(5)

NextGen

The term NextGen means the Next Generation Air Transportation System.

A

Next Generation Air Transportation System

4101.

Return on investment assessment

(a)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the Administrator’s assessment of each NextGen program.

(b)

Contents

The report under subsection (a) shall include—

(1)

an estimate of the date that each NextGen program will have a positive return on investment;

(2)

an assessment of the impacts of each such program for—

(A)

the Federal Government; and

(B)

the users of the national airspace system;

(3)

a description of how each such program directly contributes to a more safe and efficient air traffic control system; and

(4)

the status of NextGen programs and of the projected return on investment for each such program.

(c)

NextGen priority list

Based on the assessment under subsection (a) the Administrator shall—

(1)

develop, in coordination with the NextGen Advisory Committee and considering the need for a balance between long-term and near-term user benefits, a prioritization of each NextGen program;

(2)

include the priority list in the report under subsection (b); and

(3)

prepare budget submissions to reflect the current status of NextGen programs and projected returns on investment for each program.

(d)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Key milestones

The term key milestones includes cost and deployment schedule, and benefits anticipated in the most recent baseline.

(2)

Return on investment

The term return on investment means the cost associated with technologies that are required by law or policy as compared to the benefits derived from such technologies by a government or a user of airspace.

(e)

Repeal of NextGen priorities

Section 202 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–95; 49 U.S.C. 40101 note) and the item relating to that section in the table of contents under section 1(b) of that Act are repealed.