In Destin, Lest Parasailers And Airplanes Meet...

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Parasailing near the Gulf Coast city of Destin, Fla., is becoming a public-relations problem and potential danger for tourists, local business and local pilots. Destin airport is close enough to the ocean to pose concern, and operations at Eglin Air Force Base add to it. But add banner planes "that come two or three an hour" and aircraft that "like to do stunt flying" up and down the beach and you've got a problem, parasailing business owner John Cooper told local news. To complicate matters, a recent visit with Destin's code enforcement department by an FAA inspector prompted disagreement over what entity should handle violations of parasailing proximity and altitude by what Cooper calls "newer operators." Pilots and regulators aren't the only ones upset -- parasail operators who say they're already dodging low-flying aircraft flying outside of any restricted or controlled airspace would like to see a resolution, too.

Toward that end, parasail operators are willing to seek compromise provided regulators and the FAA move forward the understanding that the future of parasail businesses depends on a reasonable outcome.