Pennsylvania rep. holds potentially damaging zoning bill

June 20, 2008

A Pennsylvania lawmaker says he won’t push through a zoning measure that could have reduced protection for privately owned, public-use airports in the state. Rep. Stan Saylor decided not to pursue H.B.2159 this year following meetings with AOPA representatives who explained their concerns that the legislation could force such airports to close. AOPA also met with the state’s Department of Transportation to discuss the potential impact of H.B.2159. The legislation would have exempted cities and towns from enacting zoning laws that protect privately owned, public-use airports and surrounding airspace from obstructions and other hazards. As a result, the airports would not be able to guarantee a safe operating environment and could face liability issues. During meetings with AOPA, Rep. Saylor indicated that he does not want to hurt airports and recognizes their importance to his state. AOPA has offered to work with Rep. Saylor to develop alternative means of addressing his concerns while maintaining vital protections for small airports.