Ortega Passes Bill Off House Floor to Streamline Aircraft Pilot and Passenger Protection Act
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission is working with State Rep. Charles Ortega, R-Altus on language to streamline laws regarding any structure near a public use airport in the state.
During the 2010 legislative session, the “Aircraft Pilot and Passenger Protection Act” (APPPA) provided legislative intent to regulate the height of structures near public-use airports. It also required a person to obtain a permit from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission prior to the construction, installation or alteration of any structure near a public use airport under certain circumstances. It provided conditions under which a structure is presumed to be a hazard to air navigation. It also required notice prior to and application for a permit from the Aeronautics Commission and to file a permit with the county clerk.
“The goal of these changes is to streamline the statute, ensuring an efficient permitting process for those who have to apply and to update existing language to ensure it is in line with current airport industry standards,” said Ortega.
Ortega’s bill does not change the existing APPPA law, it merely tweaks the existing law to ensure the permitting process remains efficient for persons and businesses affected and to update the law based on current airport industry practices. The law applies to all public-use airports, including Oklahoma’s military airports such as Altus Air Force Base.
“Changes to the 2010 law are needed because over the course of the 6 years this law has been on the books, several updates have surfaced during its implantation. In addition to that, several businesses that have applied for permits have made suggested changes to make the permitting process more efficient. We believe that in the interest of providing a fair and efficient permitting process these modifications should be made,” said Grayson Ardies, the manager for the airport development division with the aeronautics commission.
The new law only applies to airspace in the immediate vicinity of public-use and military airports, the remaining 95% of Oklahoma’s airspace is unaffected by this law.