A Maryland official is once again going outside the scope of the state's normal responsibilities when it comes to general aviation.
AOPA Manager of State and Local Government Affairs Owen Sweeney and AOPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Representative Chris Hudson appeared before the Maryland House of Delegates' Environmental Matters Committee last week to oppose legislation that would establish a security task force to study general aviation issues.
Under House Bill 894, sponsored by Delegate Darryl Kelley, the task force would be required to examine environmental problems, including any problems with low-flying aircraft; safety and land-use compatibility questions; security issues; the monitoring of flight schools; and the recording of operations at airports. Kelley has introduced the bill in two previous sessions, but it has never moved forward.
Hudson explained that these issues are already overseen by federal and local authorities. He also pointed out what the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded in 2004, that "the small size, lack of fuel capacity, and minimal destructive power of most general aviation aircraft make them unattractive to terrorists, and, thereby, reduces the possibility of threat associated with their misuse."
March 15, 2006