NTSB seeks comments on proposed rules for aviation certificate enforcement cases

NTSB seeks comments on proposed rules for aviation certificate enforcement cases

4-Jan-2011 Source: NTSB

The NTSB has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) seeking comments from the public regarding amendments to its procedural rules dealing with review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificate actions and its rules concerning applications for fees and expenses under the Equal Access to Justice Act.

The NTSB listed three main reasons for its undertaking a review of 49 CFR parts 821 and 826: (1) to respond to parties’ suggestions for changing the rules; (2) to update rules that may be outdated; and (3) to modernize the rules to accommodate prospective electronic filing and document availability in case dockets.

The ANPRM indicates that certain parties have approached the NTSB concerning emergency certificate actions, which involve cases in which the FAA issues an immediately effective order revoking or suspending a certificate. In such cases, the NTSB’s procedural rules allow a party to challenge the emergency status of the case, and provide an expedited timeline for doing so. The rules currently require the NTSB’s administrative law judges to “consider whether, based on the acts and omissions alleged in the Administrator’s order, and assuming the truth of such factual allegations, the Administrator’s emergency determination was appropriate under the circumstances.” The ANPRM invites public comments concerning this standard of review, as well as other aspects of the emergency review process, such as whether a hearing should occur to allow parties to provide evidence concerning whether the case should be treated as an emergency. The ANPRM further invites comments concerning whether parties should have an opportunity for another level of appeal to challenge the emergency status determination.

In addition, the ANPRM also solicits comments concerning electronic filing of documents for aviation certificate cases, and requests specific consideration as to whether such electronic filing is feasible for individuals who opt not to retain an attorney. The ANPRM further seeks feedback concerning whether any outdated information exists in the current procedural rules.

The 60-day comment period for the ANPRM concludes on February 22, 2011.

The ANPRM may be accessed at the following link http://origin.www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-12-22/pdf/2010-32056.pdf.

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