The Arizona House of Representatives this week approved a constitutional amendment allowing the state to grant extended, non-bid leases to airports located on state-owned lands. However, the measure still faces an uphill challenge since it needs approval from the Senate, governor, and the state's voters - not to mention an act of Congress - before the end of 2008 for the change to take effect. The legislature's action, prodded by AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Phil Corbell at Pleasant Valley Airport, has helped raise the state's interest in preserving the more than 50 "backcountry" airstrips in Arizona. AOPA Western Regional Representative Stacy Howard has promoted increased awareness in the statehouse and has been meeting with key legislators and state land and Department of Transportation officials in an attempt to find a workable solution to new state liability insurance standards for airport operators.
March 25, 2005