Senators Michael Crapo and Larry
Craig (pictured below) have not let up in efforts to protect
backcountry airstrips. The two Idaho senators recently introduced
the Backcountry Landing Strip Access Act into Congress. AOPA is
strongly supporting the bill.
"Many federal land management agencies persist in trying to
close or restrict access to backcountry airstrips," AOPA President
Phil Boyer said in letters thanking Sen. Crapo and Sen. Craig for
sponsoring the bill.
"Without congressional intervention, the accessibility of these
valuable assets will continue to be hampered."
"Backcountry landing strips allow people to enjoy forest and
parks, support state economies through recreational activity, and
play a vital role in access to research, management, aerial
mapping, and disaster relief," Senator Crapo recently said in
a press release. "This bill will ensure our backcountry airstrips
remain in operation, maintained, and accessible."
Boyer has met with Sen. Crapo (pictured below) on several
occasions to encourage him to reintroduce the legislation.
AOPA has lobbied Congress for years to protect airstrips in
remote areas because they not only allow public access to public
lands, they are also critical to managing and protecting those
In 1998, for example, Boyer went before a House of
Representatives committee to remind Congress that it has always
encouraged public access to wilderness areas, including access by
Since then there have been numerous attempts to write that
access assurance into law, but except for some measures attached to
funding legislation (which expires), no permanent solution has yet
to clear both houses of Congress.
Meanwhile, AOPA has wielded the power of its 407,000 members to
push back administrative attempts to restrict or close backcountry
The association continues to work with pilot groups, state
aeronautical agencies, and outdoor enthusiasts to obtain support
for national legislation as well as working with members of the
House of Representatives to introduce companion legislation.