The California Fish and Game Commission will vote on Nov. 2 on a proposal to prohibit aircraft operations within any ecological reserve. This could ban all overflights of any areas designated as an ecological reserve except for law enforcement and habitat management flights. AOPA wrote the commission opposing the proposed change to the California Code of Regulations. The proposal would preempt the federal government’s regulation of U.S. airspace. AOPA urges pilots to contact the Fish and Game Commission to tell them they oppose this rule. Editor’s Note: We certainly do not need the California Fish and Game Commission involved in creating even more flight restrictions in our state. CALPILOTS joins AOPA in asking that you take the time to respond to this huge overstep of a state agency.
The commission cannot adopt this proposed rule because only the FAA may impose airspace limitations, aside from a limited exception for noise abatement by an airport operator.
“Not only is the flight ban preempting federal law, pilots are already responsive to the special needs of flying over these types of environmentally sensitive areas,” said Greg Pecoraro, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. “The FAA has already given us guidance on the appropriate VFR standards. There is no need to restrict airspace.”
The FAA issued an advisory circular that recommends pilots voluntarily maintain a minimum altitude of 2,000 feet above the terrain over national wildlife refuge areas, national parks, and primitive and wilderness areas.