New Mexico Proposes Ban on Seaplane Ops

New proposed legislation would ban seaplanes and floatplanes from all parks in the state.

The Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF) has called on the pilot population to fight a battle in New Mexico that has the potential to ban all seaplane operations in the state.

The rationale behind the proposed ban is the state's concerns regarding potential contamination of invasive species in waterways. The state does, however, allow tens of thousands of other types of watercraft, which have the same potential for contamination, to enter from out of state, according to a statement by Seaplane Pilots Association executive director Steve McCaughey.

If adopted, the new legislation would read as follows: “The taxiing, landing or takeoff of seaplanes or floatplanes is prohibited in the state parks system.” And the new rules would effectively ban seaplanes from the state altogether. “All of the water in the state suitable for seaplane operations is controlled by NM SPD,” (New Mexico State Parks Division) said McCaughey.

The ban would be problematic not only for seaplane pilots who reside in New Mexico. RAF claims the new rules would essentially make it impossible for non-amphibious seaplanes to cross the United States in the winter since there would be no available landing sites.

The comment period for the proposed legislation ends tomorrow, October 31, 2012. Comments are being accepted by mail and email.