March 8, 2012
By Jim Moore
Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, flanked by members of the Recreational Aviation Foundation and state lawmakers, signs into law a measure that will extend recreational use liability protection to private airport owners.
Private airports in Washington state can now open runways to the public with protection from liability. On March 7, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law a bill championed by aviators, including AOPA, the Washington Pilots Association, and the Recreational Aviation Foundation. Washington joined a group of 13 states with laws that clearly include aviation in recreational use statutes protecting property owners from liability when access to private property is provided without charge.
AOPA worked closely with the organizations, and state lawmakers, who moved the bill quickly through House and Senate votes. Recreational Aviation Foundation liaison Bob Kay is working with Northwest Regional Manager David Ulane to spread the word to private airport owners that they can offer public access without fear of liability.
Backcountry airports offer many people the only practical means of access for camping, hiking, and other outdoor recreation. AOPA continues to work with partners across the country to expand recreational use laws to clearly include protection for airports.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
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.
Fourteen aviation organizations have banded together to urge the FAA to take immediate steps to lower barriers to ADS-B equipage.
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