Open letter to Senator Mark Leno, Chair Senate Committee on Budget & Fiscal Review State Capitol – Next step in saving our Airport Land Use Commissions.
April 24, 2012
The Honorable Mark Leno, Chair
Senate Committee on Budget & Fiscal Review State Capitol
Sacramento, California 95814
Dear Senator Leno:
The California Pilots Association is a statewide non-profit volunteer airport/aviator advocate organization founded in 1949.
We are writing to express our opposition to the proposal to eliminate certain sections of the Public Utilities Code regarding the establishment and operation of airport land use commissions as part of the 2012-2013 state budget package.
The Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC’s) function was specifically created to maintain safety and eliminate noise issues for communities with airports. It was implemented in the 1970’s after the tragic crash of an aircraft into a Sacramento Ferrell’s Ice Cream Parlor directly across the street and in line with the end of a runway.
While we certainly understand the requirement to reduce state expenses, it is important to point out that ALUC’s are not a burden to the General Fund. Aviation more than pays its own way with the state collecting between $300-$400 million dollars annually in taxes specific to aviation operations; yet, less than 2% is returned to aviation operations/functions.
On behalf of California’s 60,000 active pilots, the California Pilots Association cannot stress enough that our ALUC’s are a critical part of community safety and airport sustainability. We are firmly against the elimination of and/or modification of the ALUC as it currently functions.
On April 11, the Senate Budget & Fiscal Review Subcommittee #2 unanimously rejected the proposal to eliminate the state mandate regarding airport land use commissions. We understand that this proposal will soon be heard by Senate Budget & Fiscal Review #4. We urge that this subcommittee also reject the proposal. These carefully conceived vital protections currently in place for our public airports, and their valuable contribution to the economy, must be preserved.
Edward Rosiak – President
California PIlots Association