AOPA is behind a bill in the Texas legislature that could help to save some small general aviation airports in the state. The association first took the idea to the legislature in the last session and is continuing to support it in the current session.
Texas Senate Bill 433 would authorize the state, counties, and cities to form airport authorities to manage airports and heliports. Several entities could band together to form an authority, something that can't be done under current Texas law.
And that's important because it would allow several communities to band together to buy or build an airport that they might not be able to afford on their own. In Texas as elsewhere in the country, privately owned airports are being sold off to developers because the owners can no longer operate them.
"S.B. 433 helps ensure that Texas' network of public-use general aviation airports remain open, safe, and efficient into the future," AOPA Southwest Regional Representative Shelly Lesikar wrote to state Sen. Todd Staples, chairman of the Senate Committee on Transportation and Homeland Security. "Efforts that promote inter-governmental cooperation on such vital airport issues as land-use compatibility and planning, environmental mitigation, and economic development benefit aviation and the communities it serves."
April 6, 2005