Mon, Feb 21, 2005
Looking Out For Pilots On A State-By-State Basis
If you think wading through the FARs
is tough, imagine how mind numbing it must be to read more than
6,600 proposed bills in 50 state legislatures. But that's exactly
what your AOPA regional affairs staff has been doing since the
first of this year to make sure there are no unpleasant surprises
for general aviation lurking within the fine print.
"But we're not just looking to stop bills that could harm GA,"
said Roger Cohen, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "We're
also lobbying hard in many state legislatures for bills that
provide benefits for general aviation."
One of AOPA's long-term goals is to get laws enacted in every
state to provide zoning protection for airports, such as the
legislation currently moving forward in Minnesota. Another is
universal real estate disclosure, where potential homebuyers would
have to be told that there is an existing airport nearby. Such laws
make it much harder for homeowners to later claim that the airport
is a "nuisance" they didn't know about.
The person tasked with keeping track of all of the state
legislative issues is Owen Sweeney, AOPA manager of regional
affairs. Sweeney recently joined the AOPA staff from the nation's
leading state government relations consulting firm.
Of the 6,661 bills reviewed so far, Sweeney is continuing to
monitor about 240 that may have some interest to AOPA members.
There are 107 bills so far in the various state legislatures that
have a direct impact on general aviation.
"We've been contacting lawmakers and testifying before
committees as necessary to protect the interests of our members,"
said Cohen. "And at the appropriate time, we may ask members to
weigh in with their state legislators on a particular bill. Watch
ePilot for updates."
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