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Letter of the Week: Bill Threatens California Aviation
California has the most airports, the most air traffic, the most pilots, and the most flight instructors by FAA region or state. As of December 31, 2009, there were 61,709 active pilots residing in California, [and] 17 percent (or approximately 9,316) were listed as flight instructors. Flight instructors are the essence of aviation in an ever more complicated and extensive aeronautical environment.
Flight instructors are needed to maintain and increase aviation safety levels and to facilitate growth in general and commercial aviation for the state of California. Adding statutory financial burdens to flight instructors and flight schools, especially in this economy, will reduce the availability of the much-needed human resources now providing initial, advanced, currency, and proficiency training. Fewer flight instructors will reduce the safety and growth ratios. Flying in California will become more expensive and [more] dangerous.
The FAA is anticipating domestic flight operations in the U.S. to double by 2025, and California is not exempt. AB 48 will reduce the number of flight instructors and flight schools in California that provide the needed safety training to maintain the state's growth and its direct connection to aviation safety and accident prevention. It is irresponsible to implement AB 48 and not to evaluate its safety impact. Repeal AB 48, California's Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009.
FAASteam Lead Rep.