Legislation Pending Affects Private Airport Owner Liability In Wisconsin

Last winter, Wisconsin private airport owner, Chuck Aldrian, identified elected officials who would introduce legislation which would amend the Recreational Use Statute (RUS) in Wisconsin to include non-commercial aviation activities to protect private airport owners from liability from any incident. At this time, Senator Joe Leibham of the 9th Senate District, and Representative Paul Tittl of the 25th Assembly District, have sponsored Bill LRB-2345/1, which will amend the statute.

In addition to Aldrian, Don Kiel of Whitelaw, Wisconsin, has helped put this legislation together. What is needed now is for all private airport owners, pilots, public airport managers and aviation business leaders in Wisconsin to contact their representatives in the Wisconsin State Legislature as soon as possible to ask them to support Bill LRB-2345/1 amending the existing RUS.

Once Bill LRB-2345/1 is introduced, it will then be referred to its respected committee in each house. The bill must pass committee and then be passed in each house, and then signed by the governor for it to become law. Unfortunately, it takes some time to go through the legislative process. The ultimate goal is for the legislation to be passed this session (session ends May 2014). However, sponsors of the bill are hopeful that it could pass as early as this fall, baring any setbacks.

Contact Chuck Aldrian of the Wisconsin Chapter of the Recreational Aviation Foundation for additional information: caldrian@theraf.org or call 715-354-7002.

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