WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Aviation Empowerment Act Thursday, a measure intended to address the outdated rules and regulations of the FAA which stifle innovation within the general aviation sector.
“Innovation is key to competition and accessibility,” Sen. Lee said. “The growing record of aviation cost-sharing services in other countries shows they can be safe and effective. It is past time we enable such services in our country."
Specifically, the Aviation Empowerment Act reverses the FAA’s ban on online flight-sharing platforms by allowing a pilot who wants to share flight expenses to communicate with the public regarding an aircraft flight in any manner the pilot determines appropriate. It would also modify the prohibition on private pilot compensation by creating a new “personal operator” category, which would allow a pilot who has a private pilot certificate to: 1) receive compensation for flying persons or property and 2) not be subject to certain commercial airliner operation regulations as long as that private pilot only flies an aircraft with 8 or fewer seats.