EAA Opposes New Mexico's Proposed Seaplane Ban
October 25, 2012 - EAA is opposing a proposed change to the New Mexico Administrative Code that would ban seaplanes from every body of water within the state park system, essentially shutting down all operations on virtually all navigable waterways in the state.
The proposal runs in sharp contradiction to New Mexico's rich history of friendliness to aviation, which includes everything from the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to space travel.
This week EAA e-mailed a Government Relations Alert to its New Mexico members urging they submit comments in opposition to the proposal. The New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) justified the proposed seaplane ban to eliminate transportation of invasive species by aircraft as well as for public safety.
EAA contends neither is a valid claim. According to Seaplane Pilots Association Executive Director Steven McCaughey (EAA Lifetime 646838, IAC 435718), seaplanes are poor vectors of invasive species and pilots are careful to take steps to check their aircraft for hitchhiking flora and fauna. He adds that over the past 13 years, there have been just six deaths attributed to seaplane collisions with boaters nationwide.
The deadline for public comments is 5 p.m. MDT, October 31, 2012. Address comments to April Alvarado, EMNRD, State Parks Division, via mail to 1220 S. St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, NM 87505, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.