Float and amphib aircraft operators throughout the U.S. are rallying to fight a proposal by the state of New Mexico to ban aircraft from the state’s lakes. The proposal is a single line item tucked in a long list of proposed changes (top of page 6 in this PDF) to the New Mexico Administrative Code. According to Jason Baker, the editor of Seaplaneforum.com, the proposal blindsided the floatplane community in New Mexico and it found out in the nick of time to attend a hearing in Santa Fe Oct. 17. Written comments are being accepted until the end of the month to April Alvarado, EMNRD, State Parks Division, 1220 S. St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, NM 87505 or by email to email@example.com.
No justification was included in the proposed rulemaking for the floatplane ban, but the community is countering the normal complaints about noise and wildlife disruption with the stand that the noise of an aircraft is fleeting compared to that of power boats. They also note that airplanes don’t leak fuel and oil into the water. Baker said that if New Mexico succeeds in imposing the ban, it sets a dangerous precedent for like-minded states elsewhere.