Thanks to the hard work of RAF Member Ron Krohn, and support from many others, the Governor of New Mexico signed into law House Bill 12 on April 6th. This law adds “operation of aircraft” to the state’s existing Recreational Use Statute. “This is a great step for the recreational pilots, the backcountry, and of course, the state of New Mexico” said New Mexico Pilot Association (NMPA) President Joyce Woods.
NMPA and RAF member Dave Hamann provided essential legislative contacts to this process.
In announcing the news, Ron said, “I am very pleased to report that Governor Susana Martinez has signed the bill into law! I would like to especially thank Rep. Jim Trujillo (D) and Rep. Jim White (R) who supported this legislation throughout the process. These efforts, combined with the support and assistance of the RAF, and the individual NMPA members who reached out to their respective legislators, was instrumental in moving this project to a successful completion.”
RAF Director and New Mexico RAF Liaison Rol Murrow noted, “Ron has worked this issue for the last two years, entirely as a volunteer. This was his first time dealing with the legislative process, and he was concerned that he did not know enough about it. Ron stands as an example of what can happen when a dedicated volunteer decides something needs to be done – and does it.”
The new law is likely to lead to the opening of a large number of small airstrips located in beautiful areas of the mountains and deserts of New Mexico. The volunteers of the NMPA Recreational Airstrip Committee have begun mapping airstrips in the state and will be adding them to the NMPA website at www.nmpilots.org as the information is verified.
RAF President John McKenna stated “What a great day for New Mexico and all of aviation. Surely this will lead to the opening of new airstrips in New Mexico as well as showing others across the country that this can be done. The RAF is pleased to be a part of opening new airstrips, as opposed to watching closures.”
Submitted on April 7, 2011.