California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 856 (SB 856) into law Oct. 19. SB 856 is a budget trailer bill to the California budget and contains language providing a delay in compliance for flight training facilities with the regulations issued by the Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE).
Now that flight training has received this delay, aviation’s alphabet groups and the industry can begin to educate California lawmakers on the “diverse and unique nature” of the flight training industry, said officials with the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), who note that it is this nature that makes regulating flight training alongside typical “brick and mortar” educational institutions not practical.
“NATA is ready to begin working with California legislators to find a long-term solution that protects students while allowing flight training to continue to be the vibrant contributor to the California economy it has always been,” said NATA Director of Regulatory Affairs Michael France. “The signing of SB 856 is the first step in a process that I believe will lead to a solution that works for all stakeholders.”
The legislation authorizing the BPPE to regulate flight training was passed by the legislature in 2009 without input from the industry. Based on this legislation, the BPPE proposed regulations that would have severely damaged the flight training industry in the state. The delay in compliance provided by SB 856 is retroactive to July 2010 and extends until July 2011.