« PrécédentContinuer »
Mr. HEYMSFELD. In those cases does the Board follow the general rules of administrative practice such as the administrative rules for admitting evidence?
Mr. ROBERTSON. Yes.
Mr. ROBERTSON. Yes. They are treated in all respects like any other proceeding before the Board, any other enforcement proceeding.
Mr. HEYMSFELD. Has any question been raised since you are assessing penalties it would be appropriate to follow judicial-type rules about burden of proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, not letting in hearsay evidence, that sort of thing?
Mr. ROBERTSON. No; I think that issue has been fairly well settled by the Supreme Court, that the administrative procedures, as long as they can pass a general test of fairness, are adequate for the imposition of civil penalties. We have not had that issue raised to my knowledge since we have had the civil-penalty authority.
Mr. HEYMSFELD. Thank you, Mr. Robertson, Mr. Fary.
Thank you very much, Mr. Robertson, for your testimony, and for your patience.
This will conclude our hearings for today. The committee will stand adjourned subject to call of the Chair.
[Whereupon, at 3 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned, to reconvene at the call of the Chair.)
[The following were received for the record:)
AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA. INC.
1725 DE SALES STREET, N.W., WASHINGTON, D. C.. 20036 TEL. 347.2315
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
July 11, 1980
The Honorable Glenn Anderson
Dear Mr. Chairman:
We followed with interest your Subcommittee's recent hearings on H. R. 7488, to increase penalties for infringement of certain aviation regulations. For reasons outlined in the enclosed statement, we oppose this legislation. However, we are appreciative of your interest and the study given the measure by your Subcommittee. If possible, we would like to have our remarks included in the hearing record.
Yours very truly,
kart G. Harr, Jr.
Enclosure (5 copies)
CONCERNING H. R. 7488
SUB COMMITTEE ON AVIATION
U. S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
July 12, 1980
The Aerospace Industries Association of America, Inc., the trade
association representing the nation's major manufacturers of aircraft, air
craft engines and related components and equipment, appreciates this opportunity
to comment for the record on H. R. 7488, a bill to increase certain penalties
under the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, as amended.
While the nation's aircraft manufacturers have no higher priority than
the production of safe aircraft and creation of the safest possible environment for operation of such aircraft, it is our finding that the proposed legislation goes far beyond its stated objectives and, by authorizing the levying of grossly unrealistic monetary fines and/or criminal penalties, could
undermine the safety of the system rather than enhancing it.
At present the U. S. aviation system is one of the safest in the world.
It's based on high standards of technological competence and meticulous quality control. Toward this end, it is subject to thousands of regulations governing manufacturing details which' range in importance from brakes to "No Smoking" signs. In the day-to-day process of complying with the myriad, and changing, regulations, it is not uncommon for aircraft manufacturers to find themselves in technical violation of one or more regulations. In the vast majority of
such cases, the manufacturer itself routinely reports the non-compliance to
the cognizant agency, even though it is well aware that non-compliance, no matter how minor and unrelated to the safe operation of the aircraft, will
In many cases, moreover, at the largely unappealable discretion of
government officials at various levels of authority, such fines can be, and
are, compounded by the number of days the violation has been in existence,
the number of flights taken by the aircraft, even the number of passengers
"subjected" to the technicality. Even at what some now consider to be the
of adjusting for inflation and would have a very real and very adverse effect
on the economics of the already financially troubled airline industry.
It has also been postulated that the threat of such exorbitant fines,
without due process, would have a chilling effect on the voluntary reporting
on the overall safety of the system, in direct contravention of the bill's
In short, we feel that H. R. 7488, as proposed, constitutes overkill.
The unscrupulous members of the aviation community, of which there are few,
will circumvent the measure, while the established manufacturers and operators, who strive daily to produce a good, safe product in adherence with government regulations, will be subject to unreasonable penalties. Unless such
"inflation adjustments" can be implemented on a more realistic, selective
a large and difficult task
we feel they should not be made...
The penalties are out of proportion to any threat to the public welfare and,
as such, could begin to erode the nation's excellent aviation system.
Directors and Staff
AVIATION CONSUMER ACTION PROJECT
July 10, 1980
Hon. Glenn M. Anderson
The Aviation Consumer Action Project (ACAP), a non-profit consumer group, appreciates this opportunity to submit for inclusion in the record its views on H.R. 7488, a bill to add criminal penalties for air safety violations and to raise the existing civil penalties.
Since its establishment in 1971, ACAP has advocated a number of measures to improve the safety of air travel. ACAP has initiated and participated in rulemakings of the Federal Aviation Administration, served as a party in public hearings conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board into the probable cause of aviation accidents, published studies, taken part in court cases and testified before Congress on issues of interest to airline passengers.
ACAP supports the thrust of H.R. 7488's revisions to the Federal Aviation Act. We commend the Administration for its efforts to bring about long overdue reform within this area, and we are pleased that the Subcommittee is considering these important proposals at this time. ACAP believes that provisions in the bill have the potential to improve the safety of commercial air travel, and we will limit these comments to that form of air travel.
In brief, H.R. 7488 would (1) raise the maximum civil penalty from $1000 per violation to $25,000; (2) make knowing and willful violations of the air safety provisions of the Federal Aviation Act (Title VI or rules issued thereunder) a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum $25,000 fine or imprisonment