Arizona Considering Flight School Fees?

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Arizona may be planning to take a chapter out of California's regulatory textbook and that could lead to significant extra costs for flight schools. National Association of Flight Instructors President Jason Blair says Arizona officials are meeting Thursday to discuss the regulation of flight instructors and flight schools. A similar meeting by California officials some time ago that lead to AB48, a hugely unpopular measure that will require flight schools to pay significant registration fees and prove financial viability through a debt-to-equity formula. The California law could lead to school closures and increased training costs and Blair says NAFI is afraid the same thing will happen in Arizona. "As a state that has a significant number of flight training providers, we're concerned about the chilling effect those fees may have on those businesses," Blair said. "We're encouraging our members in that state to get involved in this issue, so we don't have a repeat of the California situation." California legislators say the move is needed to protect flight students from unscrupulous operators but some aviation businesses have dismissed it as a ploy to raise revenue.

Specifically, the Thursday meeting will be held by the Arizona State Board for Private and Postsecondary Education and it will be held in Conference Room B-1, 1400 West Washington St., in Phoenix. The meeting is to discuss the "Question of Regulation of Certain Classifications of Airplane Pilot and Instructors under Part 61 of the CFR." Blair says NAFI is keeping an eye on the proceedings and will report back on them.