Two very significant members of Congress have joined the fight over who controls access to the nation's airspace. House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska) and Ranking Member James Oberstar (D-Minn.) sent a letter urging Appropriations Chairman C. W. "Bill" Young (R-Fla.) to not "summarily rescind notam 2/0199 without a full review by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee." That notam governs stadium overflights. Major sports interests have been trying to use the federal budget process as a back-door way to ban banner towers.
The October 4 letter strengthens last week's request from 10 House members emphasizing that overflight provisions should be considered by the appropriate committees and regulatory agencies. Senior legislators, such as representatives Young and Oberstar, continue to support AOPA's position that regulations should be reasonable and carefully considered by the committees and regulatory agencies with appropriate jurisdiction and expertise, not ad hoc provisions hidden in a spending bill.
"AOPA continues to oppose all legislation that inappropriately regulates public access to the nation's airspace," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of government and technical affairs. "We will continue working with Congress and federal agencies to reiterate that legislation is not easily revoked, and that carefully considering all flight restrictions is the first step toward effective national security."