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Idaho law benefits airports, safety by conforming to FAA standardsIdaho law benefits airports, safety by conforming to FAA standards

Idaho law benefits airports, safety by conforming to FAA standards

Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne signed into law last week a bill that brings aviation terminology in Idaho law into conformity with FAA standards.

"More states should follow Idaho's focused, forward thinking lead of cooperating with the FAA to protect general aviation airports," said Roger Cohen, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "By conforming with the FAA, the possibility of making redundant or conflicting rulings should be reduced, and this can only help improve aviation safety."

According to the Idaho Transportation Department, the new law not only brings definitions into conformity with federal definitions and regulations, but it also creates uniformity in aviation airspace obstruction management by bringing the Idaho Code into compliance with FAA obstruction evaluation standards.

The bill changed the term "airport hazard" to "aviation hazard" to include hazards that are not in the immediate vicinity of an airport. A hazard is any man-made or natural structure, land use, or modification of land that could endanger the lives and property of airport users or the occupants of land near the airport. Anything that reduces the area available for landing, takeoff, and maneuvering or extends into the airspace between airports to cause disastrous and needless loss of life and property also would be defined as a hazard. (The bill also replaced "obstructions" with "hazards.")

Another change applies the definition of an airport to aviation fields, airfields, intermediate landing fields, landing fields, landing areas, airstrips, and landing strips.

April 7, 2005

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