A bill that clarifies that private landowners are shielded from liability for allowing recreational uses of their property including aviation has passed the Oregon House of Representatives without opposition.
The April 9 vote on House Bill 2038 sets up a Senate vote on the measure.
AOPA Northwest Mountain Regional Manager David Ulane voiced the association’s strong support of the measure in a March 31 letter to lawmakers, and Ulane is working closely with Recreational Aviation Foundation liaison Phil Olson, who led the push for clarification of the law in his home state where he is also an airstrip owner.
As it stands, Oregon shields private landowners who allow recreational use of their property from liability, as long as they don’t charge for access, but aviation is not explicitly included among the recreational uses to which this protection applies.
AOPA, the Recreational Aviation Foundation, and the Oregon Pilots Association have all supported the legislation that would make it clear that aviation is among those activities for which landowners need not fear liability for allowing use of their property. This bill, like many others passed around the country in recent years, removes a strong disincentive to allowing aircraft operations on private land. Removing this potential obstacle will encourage backcountry aviation in Oregon, and is expected to increase tourism and related business activity.