California flight school reg. delay clears Senate

August 25, 2010

A bill that would delay the implementation of costly new requirements for flight schools in California passed the state Senate Aug. 24.

AB 1889 would delay the flight school regulations from the California Private Postsecondary Act of 2009 until July 1, 2011, to allow time for the legislature and aviation industry to work out a more reasonable solution. AOPA has been communicating with lawmakers about the unintended consequences of the law, which imposes new fees and regulatory requirements on flight schools, and supporting all the possible legislative vehicles for giving the state time to revisit the law.

The bill passed the Senate 22-13 after some unrelated provisions that could have hindered its progress were removed. It now goes to the Assembly for concurrence.

“This has been a challenging issue given the political environment, but we have been on the ground in Sacramento since this issue arose and have made good progress in developing support and awareness, with the help of a strong grassroots effort among flight instructors and other pilots in the state,” said AOPA Director of State Government Affairs Mark Kimberling.

“The Senate passage of AB 1889 is a significant step in the right direction, but we will not be finished until the governor signs this or another legislative vehicle that delays implementation. Then we will work with the legislature and flight training industry to develop a long-term solution.”

AOPA reached out to both parties to develop support for delaying implementation of the regulations for flight schools and revisiting the issue, and is working with lawmakers to garner support for two bills that could address the issue, AB 1889 and AB 1140. At each step in the legislative process, the association has called on members through Action Alerts in the districts of lawmakers on key committees to contact their Assembly members and senators in support of the bills.