New Requirements For CA Flight Training Providers Delayed

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A controversial law that opponents fear could have imposed new and potentially crippling fees on California flight schools and flight instructors may now be held up for further consideration thanks to legislative action, Friday. The concerns arose from SB 48, a bill passed earlier this year that authorizes the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) to regulate flight training "without input from the industry," according to the National Air Transportation Association (NATA). It was intended to protect students, but "would require flight schools to pay multiple new administrative fees and open their books to regulators," according to AOPA. Language included in SB 856, which was passed Friday by the California legislature, would delay mandatory compliance with SB 48 until July 2011. The new bill would also allow the California legislature to reconsider handing oversight of flight training to the BPPE. But there are still more steps to take.

The new language does not resolve the issue for California flight training. What it does is provide opponents with another chance to alter SB 48 in a way that does not add financial burdens to the flight training providers. NATA, AOPA and the flight training industry are serious about the fight. "Without this type of opportunity," said NATA Director of Regulatory Affairs Michael France, "the impact of the BPPE's regulations could be disastrous for flight training and the aviation industry in general." Signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenneger, SB 856 will provide the groups with more time to demonstrate their case to legislators.