Strong Response on New Mexico Seaplane Ban
November 1, 2012 - EAA and its members voice strong opposition to a proposed ban on seaplanes from New Mexico's state park system. Following an advocacy e-mail alert to EAA members in the state and an e-Hotline story last week, many members submitted their written comments to the New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) before the end of the comment period Wednesday.
EAA's Advocacy and Safety team joined its members with written comments sent to the EMNRD on behalf of the organization. In the letter, EAA raised its deep concern with the agency's decision to single out seaplane operators for denial of access to waterways in the state park system, which constitute effectively all navigable waterways in the state.
EAA's comments state, "Seaplane pilots and their passengers do not simply takeoff, land, and taxi on the waters they enjoy. They swim, fish, camp, and oftentimes live right alongside the other users," and thus have the same vested interest in protecting public safety and the environment that anyone else who shares the water would have. EAA also stressed that this regulation would close off the state to amphibious firefighting aircraft and pilots traversing the only year-round route for crossing the country on "straight" floats.
"The aviation community spoke up loudly but respectfully on this issue," said Tom Charpentier, EAA government advocacy specialist. "Seaplane operators have shown that they are willing to work with the EMNRD to address any concerns they may have, and we are confident that our collective input will cause the state to reconsider this misguided proposal."