GAC Challenges Pilot Certificate Revocation Rule

 - January 28, 2008, 9:11 AM

The General Aviation Coalition (GAC) and its 17 member organizations have challenged the TSA’s recent direct final rule that would allow the revocation of an FAA airman certificate based on a threat assessment, declaring that it “clearly exacerbates the frustration experienced by this community seeing our civil liberties as citizen aviators slowly chipped away.”

The GAC said its greatest concern is the obvious lack of a meaningful avenue of appeal. Under current law, the FAA has the jurisdiction to revoke an airman’s certificate, but the airman is informed of the reason and has the right to appeal to an independent third party.

“Unlike the FAA appeals process, an airman whose certificate is revoked by the TSA for security reasons may never know the reasons for the revocation because the supporting evidence may be considered classified,” the coalition said in a letter to Loy. “It might therefore be difficult if not impossible for certificate holders to defend themselves or establish grounds for an appeal. And should an appeal be made, the governing body that issued the revocation would act as the judge and jury throughout the appeal process.”

Strongly urging the TSA to reconsider the rule, the GAC asked that citizens be allowed to comment on any proposed new language “and more importantly, we urge the Administration to provide a reasonable right to appeal by an independent third party.”