February 11, 2014
By Jim Moore
AOPA is backing a pair of bills in the Hawaii legislature that would decriminalize the storage of a pitching wedge in an airport hangar.
An enforcement sweep last year resulted in numerous citations for alleged violations of hangar-use policies in effect for years, and those citations took pilots by surprise. Rob Moore, president of the General Aviation Council of Hawaii, said he received such a citation for keeping a golf cart used to move his aircraft (for which a permit had been granted by airport management) in his hangar, and attorneys advised him that the citation, and the way it was issued, exposed him to a criminal conviction he would be required to report to the FAA.
Moore and others cited were able to convince a judge to convert the offenses to the legal equivalent of a parking ticket, but hangar tenants could be subjected to the same process following future inspections unless lawmakers act.
AOPA urged speedy passage of the respective bills in letters sent in recent weeks to legislative leaders. Members in Hawaii are urged to contact their representatives to support Senate Bill 2244 and House Bill 1813.
The bills have each been referred to committees, but no hearing dates have been announced.
Wisconsin’s governor has signed a bill adding aviation to an existing recreational-use statute.
The Michigan Aeronautics Commission is asking the FAA and the state’s congressional delegation to support legislation that would let more pilots fly without medical certification.
Pilots in Hawaii have a chance to help shape revisions to rules governing hangar use.
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