NJ State Panel Postpones Flight Instruction Bill - Waits for Federal Action


NJ State Panel Postpones Flight Instruction
Bill - Waits for Federal Action

Alexandria, VA, November 20, 2002 - National Air Transportation Association (NATA) president James K. Coyne praised panel members from the New Jersey legislature for postponing consideration of a controversial piece of legislation affecting flight instruction and aircraft rental that was to be considered during a hearing this past Monday. 

The New Jersey Senate Transportation Committee was to consider Senate Bill 1438, a measure that would require fingerprinting and criminal history background checks plus a photo-bearing identification card for individuals requesting flight instruction or aircraft rental. The bill would disqualify anyone from receiving an ID card -- and therefore flight instruction and aircraft rental if they were convicted of certain crimes in New Jersey or any other jurisdiction.

While no formal explanation was given for postponement of the hearing, panel members reportedly delayed action to see what action would ensue as a result of the new Department of Homeland Security and other federal initiatives aimed at preventing terrorist acts. Since the hearing, the association has sent letters to each member of the New Jersey Senate Transportation Committee thanking them for postponing consideration of the bill and encouraging the state to allow the federal government to handle matters involving aviation security.

"NATA remains extremely concerned that this legislation would impose restrictions on interstate commerce, which is reserved for regulation by the federal government, and would conflict with the U.S. government's sole authority to regulate aviation and pilot certification," Coyne said in the letters. "NATA and the aviation industry as a whole are working closely with the federal Transportation Security Administration on appropriate measures to enhance aviation security while not unnecessarily burdening aviation businesses." The association also said that the measure would place a significant administrative and financial burden on New Jersey's aviation businesses. "Most importantly, however, is the severe economic impact such a law would have on aviation businesses throughout New Jersey," Coyne concluded.
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