Fairness in FAA Enforcement Matters: Steps to Take Right Now, Aviation Business Journal, 4th Quarter 2017
By Christopher Poreda
This article offers an observation from one who once served the agency and who now represents holders of FAA certificates about what the FAA can do on its own, right now, without further statutory authority or mandate, to address perceived unfairness in its compliance and enforcement program. These suggestions primarily address practices by the FAA’s Program Offices, not the FAA Legal Office. Four practices Attorney Poreda believes the FAA should adopt now to make the enforcement process more fair include: investigate and vet complaints against pilots sent to the medical office before sending the pilot a request for additional medical information; limit the use and scope of request to “re-examine” an airman under 49 USC 44709; avoid leveraging individual pilots under investigation for operating air carrier or commercial operations without a Part 119 operating certificate; and encourage the Program Offices to respond to and communicate with a pilot’s counsel rather than insisting on only dealing with the pilot.