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New Mexico Call to Action

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The Recreational Aviation Foundation, along with the New Mexico Airstrip Network and the New Mexico Pilots Association, needs your help.

The New Mexico Dep’t of Game and Fish is intent on eliminating aerial game scouting. They have proposed a rule change to eliminate the long standing “48 hour rule” and make it unlawful “for any individual, for the purpose of hunting, to locate or assist in locating a protected species from or with the aid of an aircraft or drone . . . during the period beginning on August 1 and ending on January 31 of each license year”.

The full “Manner and Method Rule” proposal can be viewed on the department website: http://www.wildlife.state.nm. us/commission/proposals-under- consideration/

Several meetings for public comment have taken place. NMPA published this white paper of the results. 

In summary, our position is that

• This rule is a restraint of not only commercial aviation, but on a pilot's fundamental rights to pass without fear of restraint or reprisal, when no crime has been committed, nor probable cause for enforcement has been demonstrated. 

• Commercial pilots who fly hunters or guides or support scouting will be put out of business. New Mexico will lose significant revenue from tag sales and hunting tourism. 

• It’s the FAA’s responsibility to administer aviation airspace. No-fly zones must be administered by the FAA. Even the military must abide by FAA rules. 

• GA pilots can expect to be questioned and potentially cited for flights over areas that may be used for hunting. Pilots adhere to FAA regulations but may not be familiar with hunting seasons or game unit boundaries.

The deadline for comments is October 18.

Please take time to preserve the right to fly, and respond to this Call To Action:

By mail: New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Attn: Field Operations Rule Development, P.O. Box 25112, Santa Fe, NM 87504

By email: DGF-fieldopscomments@ state.nm.us  

Thank you for your support in this issue.



Ron Keller, RAF New Mexico State Liaison
Larry Filener, RAF New Mexico State Liaison
Rol Murrow, RAF Director Emeritus, New Mexico