April 22, 2014
By Benét J. Wilson
Key members of the California legislature received visits from AOPA Western Pacific Regional Manager John Pfeifer last week to discuss a state Department of Parks and Recreation proposal to regulate overflight of parks.
The Department of Parks and Recreation amended draft regulation would prohibit aircraft from flying lower than 2,000 feet agl in wilderness areas or lower than 500 feet agl in cultural preserves or natural preserves. The regulation conflicts with preemptive federal regulations and would have far-reaching effects and implications for general aviation pilots, says an April 4 letter written to the Department of Parks and Recreation by Melissa McCaffrey, AOPA’s senior government analyst of air traffic services.
Pfeifer met with the staffs of the chairs and vice chairs of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, where he gave briefings on the proposal. He emphasized that the FAA has the sole authority to regulate airspace, and delivered copies of AOPA’s April 4 letter commenting on the proposal. He also explained the impact of the proposed rules, should they be adopted, on general aviation.
The Department of Parks and Recreation is currently reviewing comments submitted in response to the amended draft regulation. A final regulation has not yet been issued.
AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.
New draft airman certification standards are available for review on the FAA’s website. In addition to releasing the draft standards, the FAA also announced that it would be deleting questions from the private pilot airplane knowledge test, effective Feb. 9.
Do you operate at airports or heliports that have LED systems? If so, AOPA, the FAA, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, and multiple professional pilot organizations want to hear from you.
The Environmental Protection Agency has denied the most recent petition from environmental groups that asked the agency to reconsider a 2012 decision not to immediately pursue an endangerment finding for leaded avgas.
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