House committee approves ban on flyover waivers
Even though banner planes may be allowed to fly near Michigan Stadium during the Oct. 12 Penn State game, a bill moving through Congress could ban waivers that permit flyovers in the future.
The House Appropriations Committee last week approved a measure that includes provisions prohibiting the Federal Aviation Administration from allowing waivers of its stadium over-flight restrictions.
On a voice vote, committee members approved language in the fiscal year 2003 Transportation Appropriations bill that would maintain the current restrictions on flying over sports stadiums and would not allow any waivers of those rules through Sept. 30, 2003. Those rules require all aircraft to be at least 3,000 feet above or three nautical miles away from large stadiums seating 30,000 people or more.
It is likely that the transportation bill will be added to a larger appropriations measure in the coming weeks as Congress tries to adjourn. Another possible vehicle for moving legislation on this issue may be aviation security legislation. Both the House and Senate are considering it.
A coalition of sports interestsincluding the NCAA Division 1-A Athletic Directors, the National Football League and Major League Baseballhave supported an effort to keep all aircraft at a safe distance from outdoor sporting events in the wake of threats by terrorists.
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