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March 2, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
Bills to protect Oklahoma airports from obstructions and incompatible land use have made it through House and Senate committees. The deadline for the bills to be heard on the House and Senate floor is March 11.
The Oklahoma House Transportation Committee unanimously passed HB 2919, The Aircraft Pilot and Passenger Protection Act. The act would protect public use airports from obstructions and incompatible land use within specific distances from the airport. The legislation would grant the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission the power to deny a permit to build an object within the specified distances. Rep. T.W. Shannon authored the legislation on the House side. Sen. Harry Coates authored the Senate version, SB 1960, that unanimously passed the Senate Transportation Committee in February.
The next step is for HB 2919 to be heard on the House floor and for SB 1960 to be heard on the Senate floor.
Shelly deZevallos, AOPA Southwest regional representative, attended the committee hearings in support of the legislation and visited with key elected officials, including Rep. Danny Morgan, an AOPA member and member of the House Transportation Committee who supports the legislation.
Advocacy and Legislation,
AOPA is looking to the Michigan Senate for “refinement” of proposals amended unfavorably in last-minute House action.
The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act would allow pilots to use the driver’s license medical standard for noncommercial VFR flights in aircraft weighing up to 6,000 pounds with no more than six seats, as long as they carry five or fewer passengers, fly below 14,000 feet msl, and fly no faster than 250 knots.
The Civil Aviation Medical Association is objecting to the FAA's proposed sleep apnea policy, warning that the evidence doesn't justify the approach.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.