June 29, 2011
By AOPA ePublishing staff
A permanent fix for onerous requirements for California flight instruction cleared a legislative hurdle June 28 when the Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee voted unanimously in favor of a bill that would exempt flight instructors from the requirements.
AOPA California Regional Representative John Pfeifer was present and testified in support of the bill, which passed the committee by a 9-0 vote and will now move on to the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee.
The California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009, as originally passed, would impose new fees and reporting requirements on flight schools and independent flight instructors that could put some of them out of business. AOPA worked with the National Air Transportation Association and others in 2010 to get a moratorium on the law’s enforcement on flight instruction, but that is set to expire July 1. The association is working with lawmakers and industry groups to advance legislation that would address concerns from the flight training industry.
Senate Bill 619, introduced by State Sen. Jean Fuller, would exempt FAA-approved flight instructors and flight schools that don’t “require students to enter into written or oral contracts of indebtedness, do not require prepayment of tuition or fees, and do not accept prepayment of tuition or feeds in excess of $2,500.” It passed the Senate in May.
AOPA is working with lawmakers and other general aviation groups to make sure the bill is passed and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown before the legislature takes its summer recess July 15. In the meantime, AOPA also is working to ensure that flight instructors and schools do not need to comply after July 1 while the bill is still working its way through the legislature.
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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