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Michigan Senate rolls back pilot background checkMichigan Senate rolls back pilot background check

The Honorable Jennifer Granholm
State of Michigan
State Capitol
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, MI 48909

Dear Governor Granholm:

As president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the world's largest general aviation organization with over 398,000 members nationwide, 12,760 of whom reside in the state of Michigan, I am writing to encourage your immediate signature on House Bill 4704.

This legislation has passed the state legislature with unanimous approval. It replaces the current state-mandated criminal history records check of flight students, a law that is being challenged in court over the issue of federal preemption, with a more relevant and practicable security program. Enacting this legislation into law appears to eliminate the need for the court challenge. However, with an upcoming July 24 hearing, prompt action is important.

Under HB 4704, flight schools must restrict access to either aircraft or aircraft ignition keys for pre-solo students, requires a solo-authorized student to have an FAA student pilot certificate, and encourages the participation and training in an Airport Watch security awareness program.

House Bill 4704 enhances security through a positive and insightful security program. Enactment of this law will better complement federal efforts on aviation security than the previously implemented criminal background check requirement in MCL 259.85.

AOPA asks that you sign House Bill 4704.


Phil Boyer

July 15, 2003

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