News & Information You’ll Want To Know In Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska & Iowa
by Yasmina Platt
Regional Manager, AOPA Central Southwest Region
What a fun and active (although hot down in Houston where I live) summer it’s been! As fall approaches, I am looking forward to attending a few more events and getting ready for 2015…
Before jumping into 2015 initiatives, I wanted to mention that Missouri voters did not approve the proposed amendment to the MO Constitution on the August 5th primary ballot that would have increased the state sales and use tax by 0.75 percent for 10 years starting in 2015 (excluding purchases that are currently exempt from state sales and use taxes, like aircraft maintenance, food, medicine and gasoline) to upgrade the state’s transportation infrastructure, including 24 airport projects.
The 2015 legislative sessions will see a mixture of bills from and for the aviation community: Recreational Use Statute (RUS) bills to limit liability on owners of private airstrips, bills to mark (and light in some instances) Meteorological Evaluation Towers (better known as MET towers), tax bills to dedicate aviation funds for airports and reduce the burden on the GA community, bills to protect airspace and land use around airports, fly away exemptions to exempt out-of-state residents from paying sales tax when purchasing an aircraft in the state where the aircraft is originally based as long as the aircraft is to be based in another state, different Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAVs) bills that we will monitor to ensure they do not affect the GA community, etc.
And it is not all legislative work. Because of our increased member outreach and “meeting our members where they fly” philosophy, we are getting around more to different airports and more local aviation events. For example, Jim Coon, Senior VP of Government Affairs, participated in a congressional aviation town hall meeting with members of Congress and other general aviation industry leaders at the Wingnuts Flying Circus in Tarkio, Missouri. I will be in Kansas City for the 4-States Airport Conference, September 14-16, where I will talk about marketing for GA airports. I will also be all around Kansas the week of September 22 participating in the Kansas Air Tour and Kansas Aviation Expo in Wichita. The Ninety-Nines are also hosting a conference in Wichita later that week so you will be able to find me there as well.
The AOPA Homecoming Fly-in will be on October 4th at our HQ in Frederick, MD (KFDK) where we will be celebrating our association’s 75th anniversary. If you can make it, you will get a chance to mingle with AOPA staffers at our home airport, including AOPA President Mark Baker and all seven regional managers. Let us know if you will be there so we can meet you (or see you again). There will also be educational seminars, exhibitors, aircraft on static display, etc. FMI and to RSVP: www.aopa.org/fly-in.
As always, you can stay up-to-date with my schedule and regional happenings via our Twitter page: www.twitter.com/@AOPACentralSW. Until next time!