September 27, 2010
By Sarah Brown
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sept. 24 vetoed Assembly Bill 1889, which would have imposed a moratorium on costly new flight training regulations in the state. The governor objected to parts of the bill unrelated to the flight school provision.
AOPA was undaunted by the veto: The bill was just one of several legislative vehicles the association has been pursuing to address controversial new flight school regulations from the California Private Postsecondary Act of 2009. AOPA continues to pursue other legislation that could achieve the same end, including the insertion of language into the state budget that would impose the same moratorium.
“AOPA has been working on this issue for many months—and we have engaged our members to assist through calls to action,” said AOPA Vice President of Airports and State Advocacy Greg Pecoraro. “We had hoped to avoid this veto, but we knew it was a possibility and have been planning for it.”
The governor vetoed the legislation, Assembly Bill 1889, because of labor provisions that set staffing requirements within the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education—matters unrelated to the moratorium. Knowing that Schwarzenegger objected to these provisions, AOPA worked with lawmakers to propose other avenues for the measure, including another bill and its possible inclusion in the budget.
“We have continued to work with key legislators and the governor’s staff to pave the way for the insertion of language in the final budget agreement that would achieve our goal. Many in the state’s leadership understand the impact of this measure on the state’s aviation industry, and the resulting job loss for flight instructors, mechanics, and other aviation-related positions,” Pecoraro said.
There is strong support in the legislature for a fix, he added. AOPA is now focused on key budget negotiators and may seek help from AOPA members in their districts. Members should watch for an Action Alert from AOPA, Pecoraro said.
A new FAA policy on obstructive sleep apnea that addresses many of the concerns raised by AOPA is scheduled to take effect March 2.
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
AOPA worked with the flight training industry and FAA to quickly resolve a problem that suddenly put many rating applications on hold.
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