News & Information You’ll Want To Know In Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska & Iowa
by Yasmina Platt
Manager, AOPA Central Southwest Region
This year has started pretty strong for us in the Central Southwest Region. We are seeing a lot of good initiatives, legislation and events.
At AOPA’s request, Missouri’s Representative Keith Frederick introduced HB 263 to amend the state’s existing Recreational Use Statute (RUS) to include aviation activities. HB 375 was later introduced by Rep. Joe Don McGaugh to further modify the existing RUS. A provision was also included regarding aviation as a recreational activity. We are currently asking for that provision to match the same wording included in HB 263 – simply “aviation activities.” MO Senator Dave Schatz also introduced SB 377 this session to create a fly-away exemption and exempt out-of-state residents from paying the state’s sales tax when purchasing an aircraft in Missouri, thus keeping more aircraft sales (and possibly aircraft maintenance and upgrades) in MO rather than seeing them go to neighboring states.
In Nebraska, we fully support LB 205 which would modify the existing Meteorological Evaluation Tower (MET tower) legislation to mirror the marking recommendations published by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and include an enforcement provision to ensure that wind power companies comply with the law.
At the end of January, I traveled to Kearney and Lincoln, Nebraska to attend the Nebraska Aviation Symposium where I made presentations on airspace at the pilot’s safety seminar and about light sport aircraft (LSA) and the sport pilot certificate during the airport conference. While there, I also had dinner with Mark Musick, who wrote a book about Howard Hughes’ secret life after meeting his late wife Eva McLelland. Very interesting!
Then, in early February, I spent a couple of days in Topeka, Kansas, meeting with legislators and participating in the Kansas Aviation Day at the Capitol. AOPA had a booth at the event and visited with several legislators and Governor Brownback about topics important to our membership.
On February 24, I also participated in Iowa’s Transportation Day at the Capitol and met with several legislators regarding: 1) an exemption for flight schools and independent CFIs from provisions of an anti-fraud law that requires educational entities to obtain a $50,000 bond and submit documentation to the Iowa College Student Aid Commission and 2) our objections to HSB 167 that would delete existing provisions of the Iowa Airport Zoning Act, create flight-safety hazards around airports, and threaten Iowa airport’s ability to obtain FAA funding. While in Iowa, I also had the opportunity to visit the wonderful Red Oak Municipal Airport (KRDK) where I met with our Airport Support Network (ASN) volunteer, Duane Harris; attended their FAA Master Pilot Award presentations; and spoke at their pilot safety seminar.
Remember to mark April 21 on your (and your favorite co-pilot’s) calendar: As part of the Iowa Aviation Conference, a pilot safety seminar and a Pinch Hitter course for flying companions, will be taught at 7 pm at the West Des Moines Sheraton.
And here is something else you can mark down on your calendar… the 2015 AOPA Regional Fly-ins. The closest fly-ins to the Central Region will be Minneapolis (KANE/MN) on August 22 and Colorado Springs (KCOS/CO) on September 26. FMI, visit www.aopa.org/fly-in.
You can read more about the trips and legislation mentioned in this article by visiting www.aopa.org/central-southwest-rm.
And, of course, you can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay up-to-date with Yasmina – www.twitter.com/@AOPACentralSW