AOPA is fighting an interpretation by the federal government that has shut off seaplane access to some lakes in the West and Pacific Northwest regions.
The Bureau of Reclamation wrote into law that unless it could be proven with documentation signed prior to April 2006 that seaplanes had used these lakes in the past, they will be prohibited from any future use. The bureau owns more than 100 lakes in the areas, and they have been frequented safely by seaplanes for years.
AOPA led the charge, with some assistance from the Seaplane Pilots Association and the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Aviation Division, to reverse this rule on the grounds that there was no documentation requirement in the past; the bureau did not conduct proper or thorough outreach to the local agencies prior to the rule being enacted; and there is no safety issue to protect the public from.
AOPA has sent a letter in opposition to the bureau and is awaiting an official response.
January 24, 2008