April 18, 2013
By Jim Moore
Tennessee has protected flight schools from state education fees and other administrative burdens enacted in 2012 that could have driven aviation students out of state.
Following an unsuccessful challenge of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s authority to impose fees and new regulations by one of the affected Part 141 flight schools, AOPA worked to negotiate an exemption protecting all aviation training, already regulated by the FAA, from the new state burdens. Gov. Bill Haslam signed the resulting legislation into law April 16.
Flight schools had calculated costs ranging from $6,000 to $15,000 stemming from the state regulations and fees, costs they were forced to pass on to customers. AOPA Regional Manager Bob Minter gathered information about the new policy’s impact and made a case to state lawmakers detailing federal regulation of aviation training, and the impact on small businesses of a cumbersome state application process and initial fee structure that put Tennessee flight schools at a competitive disadvantage. Minter presented the information to Haslam’s office, and the governor organized a meeting including the commission, flight schools, instructors, and the Tennessee Aviation Association. That resulted in an accord, and legislation backed by the Higher Education Commission that earned approval by lawmakers.
“This was an important issue for the aviation community in Tennessee,” said Greg Pecoraro, AOPA vice president of airports and state advocacy. “In the last few years we have seen several states begin to look at flight training as if it were just another educational program to be regulated. The result of these new administrative burdens would have made flight instruction unavailable or unaffordable.”
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
Pilot Training and Certification,
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
The Aircraft Spotlight feature looks at an airplane type and evaluates it across six areas of particular interest to flying clubs and their members: Operating Cost, Maintenance, Insurability, Training, Cross-Country, and Fun Factor.
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>