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The EAA Advocacy and Safety department is sending this e-Alert to all members in New Mexico as a member service.
New Mexico Proposal Threatens to Cripple Seaplane Operations
A proposed change to the New Mexico Administrative Code would ban seaplanes from every body of water within the state park system, preventing their operation on virtually all navigable waterways in the state. The proposal runs in sharp contradiction to New Mexico's rich history of friendliness to aviation, which includes everything from the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to space travel.
The successful passage of this measure would set a dangerous precedent that could impact general aviation across the country. In addition, New Mexico is particularly important to the seaplane community as it lies along one of only two cross-country routes for aircraft on "straight floats," and the only such route that is open year-round.
The two major reasons given for this ban by the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) are the transportation of invasive species by aircraft and concern for public safety. Neither is a valid claim. Seaplane pilots are highly trained aviators, capable of effectively handling responsible environmental stewardship in the air and on the water.
According to Seaplane Pilots Association Executive Director Steven McCaughey (EAA Lifetime 646838, IAC 435718), seaplanes are poor vectors of invasive species and pilots are careful to take steps to check their aircraft for hitchhiking flora and fauna. He also reports that over the past 13 years, there have been just six deaths attributed to seaplane collisions with boaters nationwide.
Please join EAA in opposing this unprecedented restriction. Public comments will be accepted through 5 p.m. MDT on October 31, 2012. They should be addressed to April Alvarado, EMNRD, State Parks Division. Comments may be submitted in writing to 1220 S. St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, NM 87505 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, contact Tom Charpentier, EAA Government Advocacy Specialist, at
920-426-6124 or email@example.com.
Thank you for your support of general aviation, and as always, fly safe!
The EAA Government Advocacy Team