December 26, 2012
By Benét J. Wilson
A proposed seaplane ban in New Mexico was tabled after the Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department’s State Parks Division received hundreds of comments opposing the measure.
In October, the division had proposed a series of rule amendments that included prohibiting the taxiing, landing, or takeoff of seaplanes or floatplanes in state parks.
New Mexico Department of Transportation’s Aviation Division owns and manages the landing facilities at both of these state parks, but the involvement with Conchas Lake’s Seaplane Base is limited to inspection and database updates. U.S. Army Corp of Engineers manages Conchas Lake Seaplane Base. The Navajo Lake State Park is an airport the seaplane base was closed years ago), and the Conchas Lake State Park has an airport and a seaplane base.
At the time, the state did not offer an explanation on why it proposed the ban.
AOPA worked with organizations including the Seaplane Pilots Association, the New Mexico Pilots Association, and the Recreational Aviation Foundation to oppose the ban and encourage members to send in comments.
Based on the comments received, and given that the Bureau of Reclamation and United States Army Corps of Engineers already have regulations in place that address the operation of seaplanes and floatplanes, the division did not adopt the proposed rule.
Department of Transportation,
The next stop is Putrajaya, Malaysia, on May 17 and 18 for the 2014 Red Bill Air Race World Championship, following an “electrifying” contest in Rovinj, Croatia.
The movement to exempt thousands of general aviation pilots from the third class medical certification process is gaining momentum in Congress and the aviation community.
The recent warrantless stops and searches of law-abiding pilots on general aviation flights have drawn the attention of mainstream media.
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