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EAA Signs Joint Letter to Protect Federal Authority over Airspace

August 2, 2018 - EAA on August 1 joined several GA organizations in opposing any attempts to change or limit the Airline Deregulation Act’s (ADA) federal preemption provision, in favor of preserving the FAA’s control over the national airspace. The opposition was expressed in a letter to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and comes in response to states and municipalities wishing to claim jurisdiction over UAS flights.

“Uniform federal authority is an essential predicate to maintaining safe and efficient transportation in the nation’s airspace,” the letter states. “Any changes to this well-understood federal authority will open the door to creating a patchwork of state aviation regulatory regimes.”

The letter also expressed that exemptions to the federal preemption provision, which has been continually defined through court decisions and Department of Transportation opinions, would create uncertainty over these established legal precedents.

“Federal jurisdiction over the national airspace system is a longstanding precedent,” said Sean Elliott, EAA vice president of advocacy and safety. “Any attempts to alter this, however well-intentioned, would have cascading effects that would reach far beyond UAS operations.”

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