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Experimental aircraft must have access to airspace, AOPA tells FAAExperimental aircraft must have access to airspace, AOPA tells FAA

Experimental aircraft must have access to airspace, AOPA tells FAA
Finds proof agency information wrong in Las Vegas

Click for larger image
Click for larger image
Aerial photos (© Landiscor) taken in February
2004 (top) and August 2005 (bottom) show that
FAA contentions about increased development
along the North Las Vegas corridor are wrong.

AOPA is working with the FAA to ensure that experimental aircraft are not restricted from airspace or airports in the Southwest. The FAA has taken measures in Southern California and Las Vegas that limit experimental flight testing and normal operations.

"Pilots and owners of experimental aircraft must have access to the National Airspace System," said Luis Gutierrez, AOPA director of regulatory and certification policy. "The FAA cannot unfairly limit their access. Right now, the FAA's justification for the restrictions isn't even based on factual data."

The Van Nuys Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) has prohibited experimental flight tests and normal operations (Phase 1 and Phase 2 flights) at Burbank, Van Nuys, Whiteman, and Santa Barbara airports.

And the Las Vegas FSDO, in coordination with the FAA Western-Pacific Region, recently closed a corridor to first flight activity of amateur-built aircraft in Las Vegas because "development" in the area made its continued use unsafe.

But AOPA has proof that the FAA's "development" claim is wrong.

"We have aerial photos from February 2004 and August 2005 of the area that contains the corridor running northeast from North Las Vegas Airport," Gutierrez said. "These photos prove the Las Vegas FSDO is wrong - they show little to no change in development around the corridor.

"FAA Headquarters has said it is willing to revisit the issue and reconsider its actions, and AOPA is working to ensure the restrictions are lifted."

January 18, 2006

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