Calif. officials educated on proposed park overflights reg

Proposed regulation is under review

April 22, 2014

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.