THIS AND THAT
In 1986 California voters passed the Clean Water Act known better as Proposition 65. The California Attorneys General office is responsible for enforcing Prop 65, however that does not preclude private individuals or groups from filing their own lawsuits. Since the inception of Prop 65 many thousands of lawsuits have been filed.
There is a group that has filed numerous lawsuits using Prop65 as it’s basis. When asked how they make money, they stated through settlements on Prop 65 cases. The latest lawsuit under Prop 65 is against CA FBO’s and fuel distributors. This group targeted 3 small FBO’s who by themselves could not afford to defend the suit. When word got out among the Aviation FBO community many FBO’s decided to fight back and sued the AG’s office and the State of CA. Since Prop 65 was enacted lead has been reduced by 50% in 100LL. Several firms have been working in coordination with EPA and the FAA to eliminate lead in piston aircraft fuel.
Legally Federal law supersedes Sate Law and Congress is telling CA to butt out of this issue. My hope is that CA will not pursue this any further and drop the case. I would also like to see the FBO’s sue this group for filing a frivolous law suit.
The Obama administration has not been a friend to Aviation. The BARR act, which allows anyone to block their N number from the web tracking sites, was repealed. Now anyone can see where you are traveling if you are on any squak code other than 1200. Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation, has been in the forefront to dismantle this program. This case will be heard in the court of appeals with a lawsuit filed by AOPA and NBAA on December 2. Mr. LaHood has proved himself to be incompetent on many issues facing aviation. I am proud that my testimony is being used in this case. It’s nobodies business where I am going and when.
On a local level I am in dispute with the City of Scottsdale that wishes to build 3 apartment complexes very close to the airport. All 3 fall where jet and piston aircraft would cross on final approach at 1000 feet agl. The new Council is very pro development and approval of these complexes could lead to legal action against the City by individuals, the FAA and the State for taking grants under false pretenses, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary responsibilities.
I am going to the NBAA convention in Las Vegas for one day October 11. This will be my first trip to NBAA. It is similar to AOPA EXPO/Summit. There will be a static display at Henderson (HND) Airport, and the meetings and vendors will be at the Convention Center. I registered under my press credentials, and the main differences between NBAA , EXPO, Sun N’ Fun and Oshkosh is that I have been receiving press releases from vendors for the past month. This helps me better plan my event and I might stay over another day if necessary. I wish the other conventions would do the same.
I have been privileged to work with the FAA locally and through the western region. We were able to reinstate the major ground based approach into Scottsdale (SDL), VOR A DME. This was necessary for the pilots that do not have IFR GPS receivers. Additionally there are no category D approaches or departures for Scottsdale. With the increase of faster airplanes this was a necessity and the approaches are now approved. They should all appear on the next cycle. I’m not a big fan of the FAA in Washington however we have some great people on the local level.
If you are near Scottsdale on November 5 and 6, Scottsdale has reinstated their Air Fair after a 10 year lapse. You can find the information on the City of Scottsdale web site.
I can’t begin to tell you what it means to have a professional airport manager in place. Under the previous administration SDL did not receive any grants for 2 years. The Airport was run by the City Manager who was fired. There was no airport manager in place. Since out new airport manager was hired he has secured 8 million dollars in grants for this year. The opposite is occurring at Phoenix Deer Valley (DVT). The airport, which is the busiest GA airport in the world, promoted a man who oversaw swimming pools for the City. DVT has received zero grants for the past year. Grants are what make the airports sustainable, without grants airports will go into decay.
As I mentioned earlier the Obama administration is anti-Aviation. Their latest foray is to tax airlines and business jets $100 per leg. This is just the tip of the iceberg, piston planes will be next. The cost to monitor this program will outweigh the fees collected. Santa Monica ( SMO) charges everyone a landing fee of which mine is $6.21 for my bonanza. I was told the cost to bill me $6.21 is $30, and if not paid on time they will bill you another 2 times which equates to $90 for a $6.21 landing fee. The same will happen with user fees if enacted. Airline ticket taxes will double to help pay for the TSA which is a totally inept organization. Also the accelerated depreciation program for fan jets will be dissolved. Airplanes are one of our few exports. We manufacture chips, cars and airplanes in this country. I am not worried about the “fat cats” buying their jets. I am worried about the laborer who makes these jets being out of a job. They can barley afford to pay their mortgages and put food on the table now. So the Obama administration is trying their best to have more unemployment. Remember what happened to the boat industry when a luxury tax was added....it sunk!