MEMBER ALERT: AOPA Pilot Information Center and Member Services will be closed today, Dec. 12, after 2:30 p.m. Eastern, and will reopen Dec. 13 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. Thank you for your understanding.
September 11, 2013
By Jim Moore
Officials in Austin, Texas, will not move forward with a draft local ordinance against aerial advertising, after research (including a letter from AOPA) convinced local leaders they would run afoul of federal regulations.
AOPA wrote to the city manager in July urging the city to drop an effort to prohibit aerial advertising.
The city has since acknowledged the FAA’s sole authority to regulate the National Airspace System, and that federal authority cannot be preempted by state or local legislation. The council had directed city staff to find out if there were legal obstacles to such a ban, and present a draft ordinance for consideration in late August.
Austin is not alone in a desire to limit banner tow operations, and AOPA has successfully lobbied local officials to reconsider, most recently in a Pennsylvania town which had enacted and attempted to enforce such a ban. (A citation issued to an operator under the ordinance was dismissed in court after AOPA brought relevant federal laws and regulations to the attention of local officials.)
In each case, AOPA has also noted that such prohibitions are impractical because pilots cannot be expected to familiarize themselves with local rules in every town they overfly.
Advocacy and Legislation
AOPA is looking to the Michigan Senate for “refinement” of proposals amended unfavorably in last-minute House action.
The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act would allow pilots to use the driver’s license medical standard for noncommercial VFR flights in aircraft weighing up to 6,000 pounds with no more than six seats, as long as they carry five or fewer passengers, fly below 14,000 feet msl, and fly no faster than 250 knots.
The Civil Aviation Medical Association is objecting to the FAA's proposed sleep apnea policy, warning that the evidence doesn't justify the approach.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.