Amendment to law protects Oklahoma private airstrip owners

The Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF) has announced that Oklahoma’s Governor Mary Fallin (R) signed HB 1009 on May 13, adding aviation and fly-ins to the state’s recreational use statute covering non-public lands.

The legislation, sponsored by Representative Mike Brown (D) sailed through both houses with no opposing votes. The new legislation essentially protects private airstrip owners throughout Oklahoma from litigation from non-commercial aviation activity on their non-public-use airports. Donations collected at fly-ins on private land are specifically addressed and do not constitute commercial status. The added protection takes effect November 1, 2013.

Guiding the bill through the process was Yasmina Platt of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) with support from RAF Arkansas liaison Dave Myrick and Oklahoma RAF member Kirby Crowe. The RAF is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create and preserve backcountry aviation destinations nationwide. It is headquartered in Bozeman, MT.

With the passage of this bill, Oklahoma joins nineteen other states that have added aviation to their laws covering liability for certain recreational use.

John McKenna, president of the RAF said, “We are very pleased Oklahoma recognized this sensible, non-partisan way to protect landowners while allowing for potential recreational aviation destinations.”