Revenue, Aero annual report, legislative issues from DMV
featured in Board's January workshop

Workshop: Revenue issues
The board’s activities began Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 21) with a workshop on revenue.

The Idaho Transportation Coalition (ITC) summarized efforts to address the state’s insufficient funding for surface transportation. The coalition is supported by about 45 businesses. It has a communications plan emphasizing the safety, economic opportunities, and personal benefits of a good transportation system. It is also focusing on the fiscal responsibility of maintaining the existing system, as the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials found that every $1 spent on highways in good condition can save up to $14 if the repairs are postponed until the road is in bad condition.

Annual Report from the Division of Aeronautics
Aeronautics Advisory Board members and Aeronautics Administrator Mike Pape provided the annual report on aeronautics activities at the business meeting at Headquarters on Jan. 22.

There continues to be a lot of interest in unmanned aircraft systems, also known as drones. The technology has extensive economic potential; however, safety of the airspace needs to be the top priority. The Federal Aviation Administration is continuing to develop regulations for drones. Overall, the aviation industry appears to be growing, but it is not at the pre-recession level of 2007.

Staff completed 39 state airport inspections and 28 obstruction evaluations last year. It also filed 18 airport safety supply requests for windsocks, lights and similar equipment.

The volunteer program continues to be a valuable asset, as 192 man hours provided assistance with maintenance activities at state-owned airports. Some of the safety, education and outreach efforts this past year included the development of standard operating procedures for the five largest recreational airstrips, hosting the annual Aviation Career Academy, and publication of the Rudder Flutter newsletter. Last year, there were 30 aviation accidents with six fatalities in Idaho compared to 33 accidents with 12 fatalities in 2013.  The 10-year average is 40 accidents and 10 fatalities. The goal is to reduce both by half over five years (20 accidents and five fatalities).

Legislative update
The department’s rules have been presented to the Senate Transportation Committee, but have not been approved yet. Two of ITD’s legislative proposals related to cleaning-up Division of Motor Vehicles’ language have been approved to print.

District 3 Member Julie DeLorenzo has been re-appointed to the board, with a term to expire on Jan. 31, 2021. The next step is her Senate confirmation hearing.

Staff is also monitoring other legislative proposals. Some of those topics relate to special license plates, autonomous vehicles, and utility vehicles.

Published 01-30-15