June 28, 2006
AOPA member action, along with association lobbying efforts, has blocked an anti-airport bill in a California state senate committee.
Assembly Bill 2501 would have imposed crippling aircraft operations monitoring on Santa Monica Municipal Airport. The airport would have been required to record taxi and idle times of all aircraft operating at the airport, ostensibly to obtain environmental data.
But the data might have been used to regulate aircraft operations, something that is the responsibility of the federal government, not state or local entities. It could have set a precedent threatening all California public-use airports.
AOPA's California Regional Representative John Pfiefer lobbied against the bill.
And AOPA asked selected California members to contact their state senators sitting on the Transportation and Housing Committee. Members called and e-mailed, and according to at least one senator's chief of staff, information from the affected pilots made a difference in the vote.
"Our California members sent a very clear message that the committee members heard: Don't mess with our airports!" said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs.
The bill has already passed the California Assembly. While it is dead for the moment in the Senate, there is a remote chance it could be called for reconsideration.
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