New Mexico drops proposed seaplane ban in face of opposition

December 26, 2012

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.