AOPA has asked the commissioners at Virginia Highlands Airport in Abingdon, Virginia, to take another crack at revising their airport regulations and minimum standards. AOPA reviewed a draft proposal at the request of local AOPA members, and determined that the rules could unnecessarily increase costs and reduce services at the southwest Virginia airport. "The proposed rules make it nearly impossible for individuals offering specialized aviation services to work at the airport. Pilots might not be able to use independent flight instructors and single-employee aviation service providers could go out of business," said Roger Cohen, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "That's not only contrary to FAA guidelines, but it's totally unnecessary at an airport of this size." AOPA also observed that the rules might have been drafted without complete research. For example, they refer to the Civil Aeronautics Board, an organization that Congress abolished in 1978. In other areas, some of the language is vague, contradictory, and possibly discriminatory. AOPA urged commissioners to work directly with local pilots and airport businesses to revise the rules to satisfy users and the FAA.
January 7, 2005