January 26, 2012
By Dan Namowitz
AOPA is urging members of the Nebraska state Senate to back a pending bill that would enhance aviation safety and promote commonsense land development around airports.
LB 352, sponsored by Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh last January, would achieve those goals by defining and providing dimensions of airport hazard areas, including extending approach zones from the current three miles to 10 miles from any IFR runway. The measure has received approval from the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, and is expected back on the floor soon for a vote on approval.
AOPA Central-Southwest Regional Manager Yasmina Platt contacted every member of the state Senate and informed them of the importance of the bill to aviation safety, and its economic value in preserving existing infrastructure on which many millions of dollars have been invested. Airport managers are also urging local support.
“Tall obstacles such as cell phone towers, wind turbines, or other structures built too close to airports create a serious safety hazard for pilots and those on the ground,” said Mark Kimberling, AOPA director of state government affairs. “Compatible land-use regulations for airports can help minimize this risk. Nebraska’s LB 352 does precisely that.”
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
The FAA has alerted AOPA to a spike in airspace penetration and violations of the Washington, D.C., Special Flight Rules Area, particularly stemming from operations at Leesburg Executive Airport (JYO) in Leesburg, Va.
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