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.”
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
The Flying Physicians Association (FPA) has become the latest group to lend support to third-class medical reform and urge government officials to speed up their review of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). The NPRM would expand the number of pilots who could fly without needing to obtain a third-class medical certificate, a standard that has been successfully used by sport pilots for a decade.
A survey of flying doctors found that 80 percent favor third class medical reform.
Two tragic accidents that occurred within a week of each other, involved pilot incapacitation at high altitudes.
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