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FAA Reauthorization Act Provides Much Needed Liability Protection for Volunteers

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 signed on October 5, provides much needed relief for volunteer pilots.

Under the new Act, Section 584 provides liability protection by limiting the amount of recoverable damages to match the policy limits. This applies to flights for “patient and medical transport (including medical transport for veterans), disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, or other similar charitable missions.”

An exception exists when there is evidence of gross negligence. Needless to say, exposure to grossly negligent damages was already a possibility.

We believe this is a very positive rule change for owners because most, if not all, piston aircraft in the United States are vastly underinsured when it comes to Liability protection. While wrongful death settlements hover around $6M per person, a vast majoirty of piston General Aviation aircraft carry a passenger sub-limit of only $100K.

It is also a very positive rule change for recipients that desperately need a means of transportation to deal with illness and critical situations.