Eligibility for state funding can be a powerful incentive for an airport sponsor to ensure compatible land-use practices near the field. Louisiana legislators are taking that route to help ensure the state’s airports receive the protection they need from hazardous obstacles and residential encroachment.
In the final days of the legislative session, Louisiana House and Senate lawmakers passed legislation June 18 that would strengthen land-use planning around airports by requiring airport sponsors to ensure that they are in compliance with FAA and Department of Transportation guidance on land-use planning. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is expected to sign the legislation.
Proper land-use planning can help ensure an airport’s future by preventing encroachment, which often leads to noise complaints, tension between the community and airport, and safety hazards for pilots and residents on the ground.
“This is a great forward-thinking initiative to help protect airports in Louisiana,” said AOPA Southwest Regional Representative Shelly DeZevallos, who met with the legislative offices about the bills. “These are vital assets in the state that need protection.”
The bill is another positive measure for airports in the South, coming on the heels of legislation in Oklahoma that provides greater protection to public-use airports from height obstructions and incompatible land use.