Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Score one for AOPA -- Court Voids NY Student-Pilot Background Check Law

They were warned; they knew better...but they just had to do something -- even if it was wrong.

Now the Federal District Court for the State of New York has cut to the chase and issued a summary judgment voiding an ill-advised law requiring FBI background checks on student pilots wanting to train in the Empire State. AOPA beat back a similar law in Michigan -- but NY lawmakers and governor didn't seem to notice or care.

"This law didn't do anything to enhance security for New Yorkers," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "It was unnecessary and discriminatory, and it violated the US. Constitution."

California lawmakers did notice, though, and pulled plans for a similar law -- good for them. Here's a message to an "just-gotta-do-something-that-feels-good" in the other 47 states: Federal law preempts and prevails...so leave it alone.

And here's also hoping that those suffering New York flight schools and instructors recover some of the business lost to legislative and gubernatorial hubris.


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