Let us be clear, AOPA is blocking flight-sharing.
Answer the Question, AOPA.
AOPA claims to “have no issues with how pilots communicate” yet they directly contradict themselves by opposing the Aviation Empowerment Act which addresses a pilot’s freedom to communicate, and nothing more.
The question remains, why does AOPA oppose the *revised* Aviation Empowerment Act?
Exact, complete, and FAA-revised bipartisan Aviation Empowerment Act below:
That’s it. A clear, concise, and FAA-revised bill to make it clear that pilots can communicate publicly online to share costs. The same way we do offline on bulletin boards today.
S. 2650. AVIATION EMPOWERMENT ACT.
The Administrator shall permit a person who holds a pilot certificate to communicate with the public, in any manner the person determines appropriate, to facilitate an aircraft flight for which the pilot and passengers share aircraft operating expenses in accordance with section 61.113(c) of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor regulation) without requiring a certificate under part 119 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor regulation).
Pilots Are Against Uber of the Skies. So Are We.
Flight-sharing gets incorrectly labeled as ‘Uber of the skies’ by non-aviators. Open communication to share flights does not create a public transportation.
Here’s the problem with the situation today. Depending on how you meet someone, your flight-share could be legal or illegal.
Legal flight-sharing: Pilot A posts a flight to a physical bulletin board. Passenger B sees the post, calls the pilot, they go flying and each pay 50% of the costs.
Illegal flight-sharing (until bill passes): Pilot A posts a flight publicly online. Passenger B sees the post, messages the pilot, they go flying and each pay 50% of the costs.
Same cost share.
Same medical certificate.
They just met differently.
Nevertheless, AOPA suggests that the few words of our bill auto-establish ‘Uber-like companies’. That must be a misunderstanding. Is AOPA really suggesting that a pilot splitting fuel costs with friends, family, or their local residents is the same as a massive for-profit transportation provider, like Uber, American Airlines, or Delta?
That opinion cannot possibly be supported by the largest General Aviation representative.
“Specific risks in terms of safety… do not appear to exist”
-European Aviation Safety Agency
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) agrees that public communication does not impact safety. When embracing “Web Based Cost-Sharing Flights”, the EASA concluded:
Specific risks in terms of safety related to the fact that passengers are contacted through a web platform, as opposed to the aeroclub, family and friends, or in a local pub do not appear to exist for the majority view (except France).
AOPA’s House Bill is Not a Flight-Sharing Bill
AOPA claims that section 516 of the House-passed FAA Reauthorization Act (H.R. 4) allows flight sharing to move “forward”. That is false.
Section 516 “Requires the Secretary to issue advisory guidance on web-based cost sharing within the parameters of existing federal law." Existing federal law is that online communication is illegal.
Without a change to the law, the AOPA-backed house bill will reinforce existing restrictions on online flight-sharing.
AOPA told us earlier this week: "Our members don't care about this issue." We need to set the record straight.
Call AOPA: 1 (800) 872-2672
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