Both Utah and South Dakota have passed amendments to their state recreational use statutes to include aviation as a recreational activity.  Bills have passed both the house and the senate in each state and are being sent to the respective governors for signatures.

Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF) Member Dave Tunge led the effort in South Dakota and contacted Representative Nick Moser, who sponsored the bill.  Many other representatives and senators also signed on as co-sponsors.  The RUS amendment adds “aviation activity” to the definition of “Outdoor recreational purpose. ” 

In Utah Steve Durtschi of the Utah Back Country Pilots Association contacted Representative Roger Barrus who sponsored the bill along with Senator Todd Weiler.  The RUS amendment in Utah adds “aircraft operations” to the listed recreational activities in the definition of “Recreational purpose. ”

Recreational use statutes provide a degree of liability protection to landowners who allow others to use their land for recreation.  Now aviation is clearly included as a recreational activity in both Utah and South Dakota.  This brings the number of states with aviation listed in their RUS to twelve.  RAF’s goal is all 50 states.

Submitted on February 23, 2012.

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