August 1, 2013
By Dan Namowitz
A newly passed ordinance banning aerial advertising over the America’s Cup boat races on San Francisco Bay should be rescinded, AOPA said in a letter to the California city.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the ordinance July 23, asserting authority to prohibit flights that display signs or advertising devices in the airspace over the race course area during the America’s Cup. The races began in early July and will end Sept. 21.
However, authority to regulate activity in the nation’s airspace rests with the FAA, not local officials, AOPA said in a letter to David Chiu, president of the city’s Board of Supervisors.
The ordinance amends the city police code “to prohibit the use of aircraft, self-propelled, or buoyant objects to display any sign or advertising device in the airspace over the 34th America’s Cup course area.” It passed on a 6-5 vote, with Chiu among supporters.
AOPA opposes the implementation of such a ban and strongly urged the city to take immediate action and rescind the ordinance, ensuring the FAA retains sole authority over regulating airspace, said Melissa McCaffrey, AOPA senior government analyst for air traffic services.
“We would suggest the Board look to the FAA as the primary resource in all airspace management and authority,” she wrote.
The city’s action is the latest in a hodgepodge of local boards’ bids to become airspace enforcement agencies—an unrealistic idea panned most recently by a Pennsylvania judge who dismissed a fine levied against a banner towing operation by a municipality. As that case was being disposed, Austin, Texas, began studying the feasibility of passing an aerial-ad ban over musical performances and other events.
In both instances, AOPA wrote letters opposing the bans, advocating for the FAA’s sole jurisdiction to regulate activity in the nation’s airspace. AOPA has protested San Francisco’s action to the federal agency, McCaffrey said.
AOPA also recently reminded pilots of the need to check notams frequently for temporary flight restrictions and other procedural requirements in the vicinity of the America’s Cup races.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
A refurbished Cessna 172N that will offer more cost-effective flight training is at the heart of the Cessna 172LITE project, announced Dec. 17 by Sporty’s.
AOPA continues to urge the town of Islip, New York, to rescind a revised landing fee schedule.
Many student pilots are nervous come checkride day. When you’re a top official at the agency responsible for the safe operation of the largest airspace system in the world, it can add to the pressure.
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 >>>