November 14, 2013
By Benét J. Wilson
The Wisconsin Senate approved a measure Nov. 12 that will provide liability protection for owners of private airfields used for recreational purposes.
Senate Bill 321 would include recreational aviation in Wisconsin's existing recreational-use statute. The current statute provides liability protection for private landowners when someone is using their land recreationally.
“However, recreational aviation activity is not specifically mentioned in the existing statute and is therefore creating concern amongst the aviation community and in turn limiting the industry's growth in the state,” wrote AOPA Great Lakes Regional Manager Bryan Budds in a Nov. 11 letter to state Senate President Michael Ellis. “By adding 'recreational aviation' to the list of acceptable recreational activities denoted in the [recreational-use statute], the Wisconsin legislature can provide the same level of liability protection afforded to skiers, ATVers, hikers, and others to the aviation industry while operating on privately owned land.”
The chief sponsor of Senate Bill 321 is Sen. Joseph Leibham (R), who led the legislative effort at the urging of local pilots Don Kiel, Recreational Aviation Foundation Wisconsin liaison Charles Aldrian, AOPA, and other aviation organizations across the state.
The bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee on Oct. 25 by a vote of 3-2. It now goes to the Wisconsin Assembly.
“Additional liability protections for private airfield owners will spur increased aviation activity across the state and may increase the number of privately owned, public-use airports,” said Budds. “AOPA and other aviation organizations have been very successful in securing similar [recreational-use statutes] amendments in other states, with approximately 15 other states having enacted similar legislation with positive results.”
AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) welcomed a Sept. 18 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announcement that it would host a “call to action summit” to address the barriers and potential challenges associated with equipping tens of thousands of aircraft for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) by the Jan. 1, 2020 deadline. ADS-B is a critical component of the NextGen air traffic modernization program.
The FAA announced Sept. 18 that it would host a “call to action summit” to address the barriers and potential challenges associated with equipping tens of thousands of aircraft for ADS-B, a move welcomed by AOPA.
Changes to departure and arrival procedures in Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport airspace will take effect Sept. 18, and AOPA is cautioning pilots to plan ahead for the new procedures.
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 >>>