The Illinois Assembly Registration and Regulation Committee has under consideration Assembly Bill 3084. This bill would license flight schools and would require criminal background checks for flight students. The bill could be heard as early as today, March 5, 2003!
AOPA must object to the Illinois Legislature's attempt to regulate flight training. The federal government is solely responsible for regulating aviation safety and security. The federal government has already taken a number of actions at the federal level that addresses the concerns of the Illinois Legislature. In a letter to the committee, AOPA's Senior Vice President of Government and Technical Affairs Andy Cebula said, "Passage of this legislation does nothing to enhance security or protect the citizens of your state, but would impose an unnecessary restriction and encumbrance on those who seek to learn to fly—an activity regulated and controlled by the federal government."
The Assembly Registration and Regulation Committee could consider this bill as early as tomorrow, Wednesday, March 5. AOPA members should fax or call the following members of the committee and let them know you oppose Assembly Bill 3084.
The Honorable Angelo Saviano (R-77th)
Springfield Office: phone 217/782-3374, fax 217/557-7211
District Office: phone 708/453-7547, fax 708/453-7594
The Honorable John A. Fritchey (D-11th)
Springfield Office: phone 217/782-2458, fax 217/557-7214
District Office: phone 773/871-4000, fax 773/871-4012
The Honorable Elizabeth Coulson
Springfield Office: phone 217/782-4194, fax 217/782-1275
District Office: phone 847/724-3233, fax 847/724-8682
Illinois' attempt to regulate aviation at the state level is preempted by the federal government. In fact, the FAA's chief counsel recently provided AOPA a legal opinion that "state legislation that requires the collection of personal information from prospective students, including fingerprinting and background checks, or disqualifies prospective students based on specified past criminal conduct would likely intrude into an area that Congress has preempted. Congress has reserved to the [FAA] Administrator the authority to regulate 'civilian schools giving instruction in flying.'"
Aviation is regulated at the federal level, maintaining one uniform standard. In this regard, the FAA's chief counsel has said, "The qualifications of the person operating aircraft are determined according to federal rules and should not be subject to standards varying from state to state." State intervention in this regard would create a varying patchwork of standards from state to state.
The federal government has taken numerous actions related to aviation security. Many of these actions adequately address on a federal level the concerns of the Illinois Legislature. These federal actions include:
Contact your legislators today and let them know you oppose Assembly Bill 3084!
March 5, 2003