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NAFI Opposes Proposed Florida Flight School Legislation

The National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) is vehemently opposed to pending Florida state legislation that would place undue burdens on the state’s flight instruction industry. The two bills, introduced in the Florida House, are H.B. 5-b and H.B. 69-b.

H.B. 5-b would require state and federal registration by all flight schools and instructors, in-depth record-keeping, and annual reporting to the state costing each flight school an estimated $2,000 per year.

The so-called "Florida Flight Training School Licensing Act of 2002," H.B. 69-b would require owners and students to be fingerprinted and undergo criminal record checks, plus make instructors and students to furnish five reference letters to the state prior to conducting business or receiving flight training. Prohibitive fees are also called for in the second bill, including a $300 application fee; a $500 initial license fee; $150 background check/fingerprint fee; and a biannual $500 license renewal fee.

"NAFI opposes this legislation because it is overly burdensome to the flight training industry in the state of Florida and will not effectively deal with the problem at hand," said NAFI President and CEO Sean Elliott. "NAFI feels that these proposed restrictions on flight training would affect all flight students, not just alien trainees. The implication that flight schools and flight training in the U.S. or in the state of Florida are responsible for the Sept. 11th tragedy is ludicrous. Florida flight trainers did not allow alleged terrorists into the country."

NAFI also urges members in Florida to contact their legislators and voice their strong disapproval of these two bills. NAFI is in full support of the recently formed Florida Flight Training Alliance (FFTA) and will attend its inaugural meeting Nov. 14 in Lakeland, Fla. For more information on FFTA, please contact the NAFI office at 920/426-6801.