News & Information You’ll Want To Know In Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska & Iowa
by Yasmina Platt
Manager, AOPA Central Southwest Region
The 2014 legislative sessions in the Central Region (Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa) are wrapping up and the fly-in season has began. After a long winter, I know some of you have cabin fever and cannot wait to get out and go flying!
As I write this article, the Kansas legislature has not yet adjourned, but it is scheduled to in the next few days. During this session we had some good initiatives that ran out of time, but are excited with one big success. We were successful in fending off efforts to amend the Kansas Airport Zoning Act, which was created to ensure that surrounding land use is compatible with airport operations by protecting them from potential airspace encroachment threats.
A very good year in Missouri for aviation! If passed and signed by Governor Nixon, Missouri’s House Bill (HB) 1743 or HB 1937 (now amended to include the same language) would amend the existing Missouri Recreational Use Statute (RUS) to include aviation activities. Also, either HB 2029 or Senate Bill (SB) 777 would extend the sales tax exemption on aircraft parts (scheduled to end on January 1, 2015), and SB 958 would create a fly away exemption so out-of-state residents would not pay the state’s sales tax when purchasing an aircraft in Missouri as long as the aircraft is based in another state within 10 business days. Eliminating the sunset on the sales tax exemption on aircraft parts and creating the fly away exemption allows Missouri to retain and expand long-term benefits and jobs to the people of Missouri, while continuing to spur economic development.
The annual Missouri State Aviation Day at the Capitol was held April 8th and we made a lot of progress on all of the aviation bills. I also had the chance to take Rep. Doug Funderburk, a student pilot and sponsor of the RUS bill, up for a flight around Jefferson City and Lake of the Ozarks before speaking at the Missouri Airport Managers Association (MAMA) conference.
Nebraska has adjourned for the year without passing Legislative Bill (LB) 845 that would have marked meteorological evaluation towers (MET) in the state as recommended by the FAA and NTSB, but we are definitely not giving up on safety, so you will see this bill again next year.
In Iowa, the Iowa Public Airports Association (IPAA) and AOPA worked to amend HF 2472, the Iowa Cell Citing Act, to protect (rather than abolish) Iowa’s Chapter 329 – the Airport Zoning Act. Does this sound familiar? Yes, Kansas had a bill that would have done much of the same.
The first AOPA “Regional Fly-In” was held in San Marcos, Texas on April 26th and was very successful and well attended (over 2,500 people and 350 aircraft). If you were not able to attend, you may find us at other events in your area, such as the Missouri Pilots Association’s (MPA) Annual Convention, the American Bonanza Society (ABS) Annual Conference and National Biplane Fly-in in Kansas, the Air Race Classic stop in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, or Fly Iowa 2014 in Iowa City.
As always, you can stay tuned with local, state, and regional issues and initiatives via Twitter at www.twitter.com/@AOPACentralSW