Local code can't preempt FAA authority, AOPA warns

September 26, 2008

AOPA is warning the mayor of New York’s Southampton Village that the community can’t enforce a local code dictating the direction from which aircraft must approach the local heliport. In its Sept. 16 letter to the mayor, AOPA notes that only the FAA can regulate airspace, adding that federal authority supersedes any state or local attempts at regulation. In addition, the letter points out that any attempt to enforce the local code is invalid because it amounts to an effort to preempt federal rules. Copies of the letter also were sent to FAA and state transportation officials to make them aware of the situation. The issue was brought to AOPA’s attention by members who received violation tickets from Southampton for failing to use the “appropriate” flight pattern when landing at the village heliport.