March 2, 2012
By Dan Namowitz
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed a bill backed by AOPA and the Recreational Aviation Foundation that should broaden public access to private landing strips by providing liability exemptions for the landowners.
Daugaard signed House Bill 1212, which designates aviation as an “outdoor recreational purpose” afforded protection, on March 1. The bill had unanimously cleared both houses of the state legislature.
“Providing liability protection to private airfields is critical for many states that rely heavily on backcountry aviation,” said Mark Kimberling, AOPA director of state government affairs. “With the enactment of this law, general aviation’s reach across the state expands greatly.”
AOPA worked in tandem with the RAF to promote the bill as it moved through the legislative process.
A similar bill recently passed in the state of Washington and awaited the signature of Gov. Christine Gregoire, as numerous states considered legislation to broaden the reach of general aviation and generate new activity for local economies.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
Recreational Aviation Foundation,
A new FAA policy on obstructive sleep apnea that addresses many of the concerns raised by AOPA is scheduled to take effect March 2.
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
AOPA worked with the flight training industry and FAA to quickly resolve a problem that suddenly put many rating applications on hold.
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