Commissioners in Clark County, Nev., on Tuesday gave the go-ahead to their local director of aviation to lobby for federal legislation that would enable him to ban experimental aircraft from local airports. The effort is in response to the crash of a homebuilt Velocity near North Las Vegas Airport in August. The airplane struck a house, killing the pilot and two people on the ground. Ian Gregor, spokesman for the FAA Western-Pacific Region, released the following statement in reaction to Tuesday’s meeting: “We believe Congress acted wisely in giving the FAA sole authority over civilian airspace throughout the United States. It would cause tremendous disruption – even chaos – to air traffic operations nationwide if every local community were allowed to arbitrarily decide which aircraft could and could not land at local airports.” EAA’s Earl Lawrence, vice president of industry and regulatory affairs, gave the proposal little chance of succeeding.
“You would be allowing an airport manager to determine on his own what could come and go,” he said. “What he is asking is that Congress, the President, and the administration give up the authority. That’s a pretty good stretch.” Nonetheless, Lawrence said his team is prepared to roll out strong opposition if such a proposal should make its way to the Hill.