U.S. House approves bill for hot air balloon safety, more than two years after Lockhart crash

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a new bill to make flying in a hot air balloon safer for the pilot and passengers. This comes more than two years after the deadly hot air balloon crash in Lockhart, Texas. 

The crash in July 2016 was the deadliest hot air balloon crash in U.S. history, killing 16 people. The new bill is called the "Doggett Amendment," after Congressman Lloyd Doggett who introduced it. 

The new measure would require medical exams for commercial balloon pilots. As it stands now, health screenings for these types of pilots are not required by the Federal Aviation Administration. National Transportation Safety Board investigators blame the 2016 crash on the pilot's poor judgment and that he was probably impaired by a mixture of drugs. 

The new safety bill forces the FAA to revise federal regulations within 180 days to mandate annual medical screenings. The screenings are similar to what airline and helicopter pilots must undergo.