Senators unveil bill to give airlines easier access to pilots’ driving records

Senators unveil bill to give airlines easier access to pilots’ driving records
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A bipartisan pair of senators has introduced legislation that would allow airlines to more easily access the driving records of prospective pilots.

Bill sponsors Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthDuckworth celebrates Veterans Day with deported veterans in Mexico Senate Democrat introduces bill to protect military families from deportation Nuclear command nominee sidesteps questions on arms control treaties MORE (D-Ill.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) say the measure would not only improve airplane safety for pilots and passengers, but could also speed up the hiring process at a time when the industry is facing a pilot shortage.

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Under current law, airlines are required to obtain the motor vehicle driving records of pilot applicants from the National Driver Register. The registry, which is governed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, contains information about drivers who have had their licenses suspended or revoked or who have been convicted of serious driving violations such as a DUI.

But Duckworth and Perdue say that it’s not always an easy or timely process to access the driving records of potential pilots.

"Air carriers and pilots often struggle to access the necessary driving records of a pilot applicant, which not only causes unnecessary delays in the hiring process, but can also threaten public safety," Duckworth, a former pilot, said in a statement.

The bill would streamline and speed up the hiring process by allowing airlines to access National Driver Register records through the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.

“By taking the burden off of state officials to provide pilots’ driving records to airlines, we are streamlining the government requirements for the pilot hiring process,” Perdue said. “We need common-sense policies like this to ensure the United States continues to be a leader in aviation."