MPA LEGISLATION REPORT
December 2001

GREETINGS! First, Here is more important National News from Washington, DC. The Senate approved on Tuesday December 4th Transportation Appropriations Legislation (H.R.2299) by a vote of 97 to 2, which would provide some $13.3 billion in FAA spending for the 2002 fiscal year. The bill, passed by the House of Representatives on November 30th, will go to the President for signature. AOPA worked with conferees on the transportation appropriations bill to provide a number of GA-related provisions. These include requiring the FAA to disseminate the database of airport diagrams to manufacturers at no cost as a first step in reducing runway incursions and enhancing aviation safety; an increase in funding for research on general aviation unleaded fuels; and modernizing the notams platform. Senator's John McCain (R-AZ) and Evan Bayh (D-ID) opposed the legislation. For more information see:
http://www.aopa.org/whatsnew/newsitems/2001/01-4-191x.html

Secondly, Here an update from Jefferson City. During the 2001 regular session, the General Assembly considered 1,695 bills and finally passed 201. As you can see not many bills ever get passed during the Regular Session. That's why it's very critical we have to get the Missouri Airport Protection Act (MAPA), and the Jet Fuel Tax Bills passed the Second Regular Session.

We now have a new Senate Bill assigned for the Missouri Airport Protection Act (MAPA). It's SB 725-Sponsor Senator Doyle Childers, Requires Transportation Commission to issue permits in order to erect structures which might impede airplane safety. For a complete listing of all Aircraft and Airports Bills Indexed by Subject see:
http://www.house.state.mo.us/bills02/sbjndx02/sbj007.htm

December 3, 2001 was the day for Prefiling of House Bills. Now, January 9, 2002 the 91st General Assembly of the Missouri House of Representatives, Second Regular Session, Convenes Wednesday, 12:00 Noon.

Here's some Background Information on the Missouri Airport Protection Act (MAPA). With the growth in the cellular industry and implementation of new digital technology, there has been a significant increase in the number of tall structures being constructed in Missouri. When constructed near public airports, they can pose a safety hazard to aircraft as they climb to or descend from cruise altitude. They can also impact the use of an airport during inclement weather by raising established instrument approach minimums or the expandability of an airport by impacting the ability to extend a runway.
This reduces the usability of Missouri's public-use airport system and the substantial public investment made therein. There is a misconception that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can stop a tall structure that will have a negative impact on an airport. The FAA does have a process to review proposed tall structures to determine if they will be a hazard to aviation and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will not issue a broadcast permit for a tower that the FAA has determined to be a hazard. However, the raising of an approach minimum, traffic pattern altitude, or minimum vectoring altitude to accommodate a proposed tall structure is not considered a hazard even though it will have a negative impact on that airport. This gradual reduction in the usability of airports overtime can have a significant statewide negative impact.

Construction of a tall structure with a negative impact can be blocked locally if it is within zoning jurisdiction of the political subdivision owning the public airport. However, in most cases, the airport is owned by a city government, but located a few miles outside of the city limits and within a county that does not have zoning. In this case, the tall structure can be built despite opposition from airport users, the respective city and county governments, and state government. This is why half of all states have enacted some form of state regulation of tall structures near public airports.

Here's MAPA Details: The proposed legislation would establish state aviation review procedures and a permit process for tall structures proposed near public airports, where the owner, normally a city or county, does not have airport hazard zoning in place to protect the airport. The MAPA does not prohibit tall structures within the defined area; it only establishes a permit process whereby qualified state aviation personnel using defined criteria have an opportunity to ensure tall structures will not have a significant negative impact on aviation. The actual total area impacted by this legislation would be less than three percent of the state's landmass. The program would be administered by MoDOT's aviation section, which currently administers all Federal and State Aviation Grant Programs to General Aviation Airports in Missouri. MoDOT also conducts airport safety inspections under an agreement with the FAA, publishes a state aeronautical chart and airport directory, and is the approving authority for Airport Layout Plans.

Here's MPA's Position: Current state laws do not provide adequate protection for publicly owned airports from tall structures. The expansion potential and utility of Missouri Airports will continue to deteriorate unless a process is implemented to evaluate the negative impacts of new tall structures beyond just the current advisory FAA determination of hazard process. It's important to note that each new airport construction is becoming increasingly difficult due to increased state and federal regulation, as well as opposition from adjacent landowners. If this trend continues as expected, it will become impractical to build any new airports. This is why it is very important to protect the usability and expandability of Missouri's existing public use airports.

Now, in Conclusion, Let's get busy contacting your State Senator from your City, tell him or her to support Senate Bill 725, and vote in favor of this vitally important Aviation Bill because we have to protect and preserve our Missouri Airports.


Who represents me in Jefferson City?


Let's all continue to work together, so we can make a Difference for General Aviation in Missouri.

Until Next Time!

SAFE FLYING!

Larry G. Harmon
Legislation Chairman
E-mail address: MPALHARMON@aol.com

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