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EAA Protecting Ultralight Activity in California
February 17, 2022 – EAA this week contacted officials in Yuba County, California, after EAA members there reported that the Yuba County Airport had prohibited ultralight operations at that facility. County officials had cited Federal Aviation Regulations and the FAA Airport Compliance Manual as the basis for its decision; however, EAA communicated that the county’s ordinance is inconsistent with actual FAA policies.
In a letter to Yuba County Airport management, EAA notes that FAA airport policy does allow airports to restrict certain types of aeronautical activity in the interests of safety, however, the policy requires any restriction based on safety to be adequately justified and supported. The FAA has the final say on whether or not a restriction is necessary. Airport sponsors, owners, or management may not act unilaterally.
EAA contends that “ultralight operations are consistent with safe operations at most general aviation airports of Yuba City’s size.” There are numerous examples of such safe operations at airports throughout the country.
In addition, Yuba County references FAA Part 103.19 as justification for the restriction. However, EAA counters that section centers on military agencies establishing restricted and prohibited areas, not for airport operations.
EAA will continue to monitor this issue to ensure that airport access and the freedom of flight is maintained for aviators and aircraft allowed to operate at those facilities.