Local Las Vegas Officials Seek to Ban Experimental Aircraft Operations

Following a pair of accidents involving homebuilt aircraft licensed in the 'Experimental' category, local officials are hoping to ban Experimental aircraft from using North Las Vegas Airport. On August 22, a homebuilt Velocity crashed into a residential area shortly after takeoff, killing the pilot and two people on the ground. The Clark County (Nevada) Board of Commissioners passed a resolution on December 2 authorizing the county to petition the state for authority to restrict the airspace over North Las Vegas. The request was spearheaded by the Clark County director of aviation, Randall Walker. FAA Western-Pacific Region spokesman Ian Gregor responded, "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." The Experimental Aircraft Association added its voice to the debate, with Vice President of Industry and Regulatory Affairs Earl Lawrence telling a local newspaper, "You would be allowing an airport manager to determine on his own what could come and go." EAA has pledged to "roll out strong opposition," should the measure reach as far as Capitol Hill.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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