December 29, 2011
By Jim Moore
General aviation has a friend in Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who designated December as General Aviation Appreciation Month.
Branstad noted in the proclamation that GA plays a critical role in Iowa life, serving agriculture, business travel, air medical transport, cargo, law enforcement, charter, personal travel, and recreation. Branstad singled out for special attention the role GA plays in preparing the state to respond to disaster, including direct response to emergencies and supporting the training and response of various agencies and organizations.
Iowa aviation also supports more than 47,000 jobs, generating $18 billion in economic activity within the state. The state’s 5,600 pilots and 4,000 GA aircraft log more than one million operations each year, and many communities depend on GA to maintain the flow of commerce and tourism. The state has 108 public-use airports, 69 fixed-base operations, 24 charter companies, and 35 certified repair stations.
Advocacy and Legislation
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 fewer than five 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.
A House bill that would force FAA to go through the rulemaking process before imposing new policies for sleep disorders has passed a key committee.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.