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Pro-GA bills protect pilots, fund airports in MichiganPro-GA bills protect pilots, fund airports in Michigan

General aviation pilots in Michigan are poised to benefit from a windfall of pro-GA bills working their way through the state legislature.

AOPA Great Lakes Regional Manager Bryan Budds has been meeting with legislators across the state about the GA legislation, and he’ll continue to do so as the legislative session heats up. The pro-GA bills would provide aviation funding, ease landowners’ liability when allowing their property to be used for recreational aviation, and increase flight safety by requiring meteorological evaluation towers to be marked and registered.

AOPA members are encouraged to learn more about these bills and contact their elected officials to ask them to add their support.

  • Michigan Senate Bill 267—Provides $10 million to the state aeronautics fund for airport improvements.
  • Michigan Senate Bills 416, 417, 418—Modifies the aviation funding mechanism and fuel tax rates to dedicate a portion of the sales tax collected on aviation fuels to the state aeronautics fund to provide state grants to community airports and state matching funds for federal grants.
  • Michigan House Bill 4244—Eases landowner liability when being used for recreational aviation. AOPA is working with Rep. Peter Pettalia (106th District)  and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Rick Jones (24th District) to pass the bill and remove an amendment that has been added that hinders some of the benefits the bill originally offered.
  • Michigan House Bill 4727—Requires meteorological evaluation towers (METs) taller than 50 feet to be marked with alternating orange and while paint, safety sleeves on anchoring wires, and marker balls on guy wires. It also would require the Michigan Department of Transportation to establish a searchable database of all METs in the state.

“We are thrilled to see general aviation issues receiving such positive attention in Lansing,” said AOPA Great Lakes Regional Manager Bryan Budds.  “With the GA community facing threats including excessive taxation, diversion of airport revenue for unrelated uses, hazardous obstructions, and pervasive liability, we are pleased to see such strong legislative support.”

In addition to Pettalia and Jones, State Sens. Jack Brandenburg (8th District) and Wayne Schmidt (37th District), and Rep. Triston Cole (105th District) have spearheaded the movement of these bills through the House and Senate. AOPA members should thank these key leaders for their support and for being a friend of GA.

Topics: Obstruction Hazards, Advocacy, Taxes

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