AOPA: FAA needs to quash ‘patchwork’ airspace restrictions

February 17, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: AOPA

Pilots are already on the lookout for pop-up temporary flight restrictions approved by the FAA, but recent attempts by other government entities, local municipalities, and private land owners to create their own airspace restrictions could create a patchwork of restrictions that would make it impossible for pilots to comply.

In December, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration proposed restricting airspace over certain marine wildlife sanctuaries. But more recently, a private landowner in California has sued balloonists and fixed-wing aircraft operators for flying over his olive farm, effectively creating restricted airspace by imposing fear of a suit on pilots.

AOPA has reached out to the FAA and gone on record stating that the agency must get involved in all issues in which another entity other than the FAA is trying to restrict airspace.

“The FAA has sole jurisdiction over airspace matters,” said Heidi Williams, AOPA senior director of airspace and modernization. “If anyone other than the FAA attempts to regulate the nation’s airspace, it will create a patchwork of airspace regulations that pilots will be unable to stay on top of or potentially avoid.”  [full story]

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