Statement on Signing the Aviation Drug-Trafficking Control Act

October 19, 1984

I welcome the opportunity today to sign into law S. 1146, the Aviation Drug-Trafficking Control Act. This legislation represents an added step in our efforts to combat the illegal flow of drugs into this nation, recognizing and building on the Federal Aviation Administration's critical air safety role without prescribing a law enforcement role.

An individual whose pilot certificate is revoked by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for carrying illegal drugs will now have to wait 5 years, rather than 1, before being able to appeal the denial of a new license by the FAA. For the first time, the FAA will also be able to revoke the registration certificate of an aircraft used in transporting illegal drugs. Other new provisions make it a crime for a person whose certificate has been revoked by the FAA, or who does not hold the proper certificate, to serve as an airman in connection with an aircraft transporting illegal drugs. The new criminal provisions further add to the possible sanctions against smuggling drugs by air, making the risks that much greater.

These provisions will not only provide an important deterrent to carrying illegal drugs by air but will also contribute to safer skies, since those who transport drugs by air typically show little regard for the safety of others whether in the air or on the ground.

Note: As enacted, S. 1146 is Public Law 98 - 499, approved October 19.