April 28, 2011
By AOPA ePublishing staff
Do you like to fly to backcountry airstrips? AOPA is reminding pilots interested in preserving backcountry airstrips and using the ones located in the national forests to submit comments by May 16 on the proposed revision of the U.S. Forest Service Planning Rule.
AOPA reported March 17 on the draft rule, which was released in February following a year of national and regional roundtables and other public meetings in which AOPA participated, as did representatives of backcountry aviation organizations, the Recreational Aviation Foundation, and the Idaho Aviation Association. The main goal for the groups was to ensure that aviation was recognized as a historical use of the national forests, said John Collins, AOPA manager of airport policy.
While you don’t have to be as politically savvy as Ron Krohn of New Mexico became when advocating for access to privately owned backcountry airstrips in his state, every pilot and backcountry flying enthusiast who submits comments lets the Forest Service know that he or shewants to continue to have the same access to the forests that other users have.
“Recreational aviation use of the national forests will not happen without planning,” said Collins. “If we are to preserve our current access, forest planners must be required to take existing back country airstrips into account in the planning rule.”
AOPA and the Recreational Aviation Foundation offer some points to emphasize in your comments.
Pilots can submit comments online; by mail to Forest Service Planning DEIS, C/O Bear West Company, 132 E 500 S, Bountiful, UT 84010; or by fax (801/397-1605). Please include the term “planning rule” on the cover sheet or the first page of written comments.
Members can also inspect comments already submitted.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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