AOPA has voiced strong opposition to New York Assembly Bill 3512, which is a second attempt to regulate flight instruction in the state. If the bill became law, flight students would be required to undergo a criminal background check, and the commissioner of the Division of Criminal Justice would have the final word to approve training. The assembly passed a similar bill last year, but it was never considered in the New York senate.
"The federal government has already adopted security recommendations that address all the concerns of the New York legislature," said AOPA Senior Vice President of Government and Technical Affairs Andy Cebula.
Those security measures already adopted by the federal government include the recently adopted "pilot insecurity" rules and regulations requiring background checks of foreign pilots seeking a U.S. pilot certificate or flight training in large aircraft.
The New York legislature has also introduced Assembly bills 2043 and 3899. Assembly Bill 2043 would require students receiving training in flight simulators to undergo criminal background checks. Assembly Bill 3899 would prohibit a person under the age of 17 from piloting an aircraft in the state.
"Obviously the federal government is responsible for regulation of aviation, not individual states," said Cebula. AOPA's Northeast Regional Representative Craig Dotlo plans to discuss the association's concerns about these bills directly with the New York legislators during an upcoming visit to the capitol.