Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has signed SB1229 into law. The new law incorporates “operate aircraft” to a long list of recreational activities in Arizona’s Recreational Use Statute, 33-1551.
It was initially introduced by Senator John Nelson on behalf of the Arizona State Land Department in response to a lawsuit against the state by an ATV rider injured on state land. Arizona pilots saw this bill as a perfect opportunity to add aviation to the list of activities, Nelson noted.
The Recreational Aviation Foundation liaison, Mark Spencer, worked with the Arizona Pilot’s Association to get the word out to members of both organizations, encouraging them to contact their legislators concerning the amendment. With the blessing of the land department, legislators were more than willing to help by providing a floor amendment at the last moment adding the new language, advocates say.
Spencer commented, “Arizona’s recreational use statute is ahead of many states in that it protects both public and private landowners from the liability associated with opening up their lands to recreational and educational uses. This is very good for landowners and pilots!”
With its passage, Arizona joins a growing list of states encouraging landowners and public land managers to open up their airstrips to aviators.