Calif. bill would delay flight school regulations

June 25, 2010

A new California Assembly bill would delay the implementation of certain regulations for flight instruction and aircraft maintenance programs for one year, requiring the legislature to review the effects of a postsecondary education law that AOPA thinks may go too far.

The law in question requires flight schools to pay multiple new administrative fees and open their books to regulators as part of an effort to provide more business accountability and protect students who seek an education at a postsecondary school.  But the law could impose a financial burden that could be insurmountable for many flight schools.  AOPA and other members of the aviation community explained the potential detriment of the bill to the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) Advisory Committee and worked with Assembly member Anthony Portantino to introduce language into a bill that would temporarily reinstate a complete exemption for flight training and require the legislature to review the appropriateness of regulating certain aviation education programs over the next year.

The bill would prohibit the bureau of postsecondary education from enforcing the regulations against “institutions certified to offer educational programs in flight instruction and aircraft maintenance by the Federal Aviation Administration,” for the period of July 1, 2010, to July 1, 2011, inclusive. The bill would also require the legislature to hold public informational hearings “for the purpose of reviewing the appropriateness of regulating educational programs in flight instruction and aircraft maintenance under the act,” it reads.

The bill is set to be heard in the Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee on Monday, June 28.  California Regional Representative John Pfeifer will testify at the hearing.  No additional action has yet been scheduled.