August 14, 2013
By Dan Namowitz
A California state government agency’s proposal to enact an overflight restriction within state wilderness, cultural, and natural preserves usurps the FAA’s ability to regulate airspace and provides no mechanisms for ascertaining aircraft altitudes, enforcement, or pilot notification of the location of restrictions, AOPA said in a formal response.
The proposed rule states that "there shall be no use of motorized vehicles, motorized equipment, or motorboats, no landing or hovering of aircraft, no flying of aircraft lower than 2,000 feet above the ground" in affected areas.
Pilots already "fly friendly," avoiding altitudes below 2,000 feet agl over sensitive areas, and the proposal fails to address the impact on airports within preserve boundaries, AOPA said in comments opposing the California Department of Parks and Recreation’s notice of proposed rulemaking.
"General aviation pilots already voluntarily follow guidance contained in the FAA’s Advisory Circular (AC) 91-36D, Visual Flight Rules (VFR) Flights Near Noise Sensitive Areas," wrote Tom Kramer, AOPA manager of airspace and modernization. "This AC provides guidance to pilots for avoiding flight operations below 2,000 feet in noise sensitive areas such as wildlife refuges and nature preserves, something General Aviation pilots are typically very good at ensuring in order to be good neighbors."
Citing the rule's unknown effects, implications, and conflict with FAA jurisdiction over airspace, AOPA strongly urged California officials to rescind the proposed rule and instead "work collaboratively with the FAA" to educate pilots about overflights of sensitive areas.
FAA Information and Services,
The silence on the approach control frequency is broken as the controller speaks your N number and advises, “Traffic, two o’clock, westbound, type and altitude unknown.”
AOPA’s Central Southwest regional manager recently put GA’s utility to the test with a whirlwind trip covering four states, seven airports, and nine meetings.
Wisconsin’s governor has signed a bill adding aviation to an existing recreational-use statute.
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 >>>