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AOPA encourages FAA to drop drivers ed proposal

May 6, 2011, 12:53 pm

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has spoken out against a recent Federal Aviation Administration proposal that would require Part 139 airports to only allow drivers who have undergone drivers education classes to operate vehicles on airport grounds.

In order for general aviation and air carrier airports to become Part 139 certified, operators of vehicles on ramps and aprons would not only require special driving certification, but also recurrent training. The AOPA believes these requirements would be difficult for small airports to bear.

"The proposed mandatory recurrent training is in our opinion overly burdensome for a number of smaller airports whose personnel and budget resources are limited," AOPA vice president of airport advocacy Bill Dunn wrote to the FAA. "Rather than requiring mandatory recurrent training, the airport sponsor should have the flexibility to implement training requirements as they believe necessary to maintain safety at the airport."

Airport safety is essential, as a number of fatal aircraft accidents occur during takeoff and landing, where airport employees have some of the greatest influence. Though employees in these positions often undergo extensive training lowering the risk of incident, the added security of life insurance for pilots remains a necessity for caring for a pilots family, should they be involved in a fatal accident.  

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