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Florida Flight Legislation Under Revision

One particular concern SSA has with the bill involves the tying of background checks and approvals to the current medical of pilots. Obviously this would be in conflict with the current FARs which permit glider pilots to operate without a medical. Another issue involves what SSA perceives to be the usurpation of federal regulatory authority. If allowed to pass unchallenged the prospect of more states setting up local rules presents the gliding community with an operating environment that varies depending on the local rules. This would be very burdensome for a small sport and the low-margin operators who provide soaring flight services.

At the federal level, the US Department of Justice has already issued rules effective January 15, 2002 requiring review of certain students who seek training in aircraft above 12,500 pounds max gross weight.

SSA is currently reviewing the existing statutes in Florida to determine the probable effect of the legislation. Based on this review and discussions with legislative staff members SSA will craft a position statement for immediate communication to the sponsors of the legislation. Following that step SSA will, if necessary, meet personally with the key legislative folks in Florida to convey our concerns and position along with proposed solutions to the perceived problems.

The actions of the Florida legislature are certainly understandable given the recent events. That Florida flight schools were a critical element in the September 11th attacks has caused Florida leaders to take steps to make sure that their state is not used as a training ground for future attacks. Additionally the unrelated incident involving a 15 year old flight student crashing into a building has done little to quell the emotional push for action.

SSA is presenting a specific position paper to the bill's sponsor and is suggestig the exclusion of gliding operations wehther commercial or private from the provisions of the legislation.

Posted: 1/20/2002 By: General News

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