Airports and State Advocacy

Instructors can help find fix for Calif. flight training
New regulations, fees on hold until July 1

With provisions of a California law that could burden flight training institutions with added regulations and fees on hold until July 1, AOPA and its allies are working to develop solutions that provide consumer protection for flight students without damaging the state’s flight school industry.

In a step toward that goal, AOPA is reaching out to California’s flight instructors for feedback on their dealings with the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) with regard to the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (AB 48). The law was enacted to safeguard the financial well-being of the state’s students, but was not crafted with the business model of flight schools in mind, possibly imposing prohibitive administrative burdens and costs on those institutions.

In an April 6 Action Alert, AOPA’s state government affairs team asked flight training professionals to respond by email to these questions:

  • Have you (or your flight school) submitted a written request to the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education for exemption from AB 48 provisions based on any of the current exemptions in the law?
  • If yes, did you receive a response from BPPE?
  • If so, what was the response? (please provide a copy if possible)

Information from instructors’ responses will be vital in helping state legislators and their staffs work with AOPA and its aviation partners on developing a long-term solution, said AOPA California Regional Representative John Pfeifer.

A measure delaying implementation of flight-school regulation changes was signed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Oct. 19. AOPA hopes a permanent resolution for flight schools will come through passage of Senate Bill 619, which was introduced in February and described by Pfeifer as “a good starting point” for the current legislative effort.

AOPA will continue to update members about progress on the issue as the legislative session proceeds, Pfeifer said.

April 6, 2011

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