From Delegate Andrew Cassilly

Andrew CassillyI am honored to have worked with members of MAA, MAMA and AOPA to address a serious safety issue affecting 16 of our public airparks in the State of Maryland. The Forrest Conservation Act was created to save our precious wooded areas around the State and promote environmental stewardship. The Act wisely contained an exemption for the 20 airports receiving funding from the FAA. This exemption allows these airports to prune or remove hazardous trees growing in the runway flight path. Unfortunately, the remaining 16 small public-use airports in the State that do not receive FAA funding were not included in this exemption. During this past session in Annapolis, I was successful in drafting legislation that passed into law House Bill 874- Air Navigation Protection from Hazards act of 2017.  The law rectifies the discrepancy by including all 36 public-use landing facilities in Maryland in the FCA exemption. I am confident this new law will allow all of our airports to maintain safe facilities and minimize the delay in addressing hazardous trees. I could not have been successful without the strong oral testimony from the aviation industry. Jaime Giandomenico, Jared Esselman, and Mike Henry spend a day driving to Annapolis and waiting to testify before the committee. Their willingness to invest the time in supporting in the bill was instrumental. Other members if the aviation industry provided written support of the bill. I would also commend the environmental advocacy groups for recognizing the necessity for this law and supporting its passage. I am proud to serve the aviation community in their efforts to make our airports safe across Maryland.