March 19, 2012
By Dan Namowitz
Liability-protection bills that make it easier for landowners to grant public access to private airfields has been on the move in the states—and the focus now shifts to Minnesota.
Two AOPA-backed bills headed for action in the Minnesota House and Senate would add noncommercial aviation activities to the list of recreational land-use immunities afforded to owners of private property.
House File 2862 was introduced March 14 and referred to the Civil Law Committee for hearing. A companion bill, Senate File 2377, was introduced March 12 and will be taken up by the Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
AOPA, working with the Recreational Aviation Foundation, will continue to be engaged with Minnesota legislators as they consider the measures. AOPA has 7,400 members in Minnesota.
“In a state with such a vibrant general aviation industry, additional liability protection for private airfield owners will only serve to strengthen general aviation across Minnesota,” said Mark Kimberling, AOPA director of state government affairs.
Earlier this month, Washington State Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a liability protection bill. Another liability-protection bill passed a few days earlier in South Dakota.
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.
There is no shortage of pilots in eastern Washington, but there does seem to be a scarcity of clubs in that part of the country.
A survey of flying doctors found that 80 percent favor third class medical reform.
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