California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill that will push back the implementation of new regulations on California’s Flight Schools. The next step in dealing with these controversial new regulations is the development of a permanent fix.
After a failed attempt to include a delay of the regulations in another bill, legislators added it to a package of trailer bills that was added to the state budget which the governor signed on October 19th. This will delay the regulations, originally introduced in the California Private Postsecondary Act of 2009, until July 1, 2011, giving interest groups and legislators time to develop a more workable set of regulations.
“This bill signing marks an important day for GA in California as it will keep countless future pilots in the air and, importantly, keep thousands of instructors, mechanics, and other aviation personnel working in this troubled economy,” said AOPA Director of State Government Affairs Mark Kimberling. “AOPA—and our allies—will continue to move forward aggressively to see this issue through to the completion.”
The act, introduced in 2009, is intended to protect postsecondary students from being taken advantage of by for-profit education providers. Unfortunately, its broad-sweeping regulations are likely to wreak financial havoc with flight schools which are typically smaller and less financially gifted than other education providers. Now that those regulations have been delayed, interest groups must focus on developing a new set of regulations that will appropriately balance the intent of the California Private Postsecondary Act of 2009 and the financial needs of the affected flight schools.
This is an big but not altogether unexpected development on this issue. It is important that interest groups, legislators, and the flight training institutions work together to find a set of regulations that will protect students without devastating the flight training providers. Hopefully by July of 2011, those involved will have created a system whereby future pilots will never lose money if their flight school goes out of business, otherwise it is unlikely that the legislators will further delay the original regulations.
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