“Whether you fly light general aviation, business, or experimental aircraft, you are welcome to fly into Nevada’s North Las Vegas Airport. State legislators made that clear May 26,” said a May 28 news release from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
Instead of banning experimental and “high risk” aircraft from the airport, as originally intended, the legislators adopted a resolution focusing on enhancing safety.
The state’s Senate and Assembly passed a joint resolution encouraging aviation stakeholders to work together to ensure safety at the airport, which came under scrutiny last August when two fatal accidents occurred within a week. Earlier versions of the resolution included a call to ban experimental aircraft and “high risk” flight operations at the airport. It would have given Clark County officials power to regulate the airport, which would have preempted the FAA’s authority. That, of course, is not legal.
AOPA and other general aviation groups worked with the legislators, Clark County officials and local pilots to have those parts of the resolution replaced with a positive alternative. Sen. Dennis Nolan, a member of the Nevada Senate’s Energy, Infrastructure, and Transportation Committee, helped to buy more time for GA advocates to work with the bill’s sponsors, State Sen. Steven A. Horsford and Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, to develop the proposal for an aviation stakeholder group.
“The state legislators recognized GA’s value, the FAA’s authority, and the aviation industry’s ability to work together to improve safety,” said Greg Pecoraro, AOPA vice president for airports and state advocacy. “Clark County pilots are committed to safety, and now it’s up to us to continue working with aviation stakeholders in the area to improve safety and the airport and enhance its perception in the community.”
“Over these past nine months, we’ve built a solid relationship with many state and local officials and aviation groups,” said Pecoraro, “and we look forward to working with them to support-and protect-the continued access pilots have to the airport.”