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"Aerial ad-towing ban is sent to Bush"
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- Subject: CAA: GA News, "Aerial ad-towing ban is sent to Bush"
- From: "Stephen Irwin" <stepheni@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2003 07:30:44 -0800
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February 15, 2003
Aerial ad-towing ban is sent to Bush
Flights over filled stadiums would be barred for a year
BY ERIK LORDS
THE DETROIT (MI) FREE PRESS
A bill that passed the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on Thursday
limits flights banner-towing planes may take over stadiums filled with
30,000 or more spectators.
Football games at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University
and baseball at Detroit's Comerica Park will be affected. President George
W. Bush is expected to sign the bill in the next two weeks. The move will
put a squeeze on aerial advertising companies.
"When you are in the business of advertising, you make your money where the
eyeballs are," said Warren Morningstar, a spokesman for the Aircraft Owners
and Pilots Association in Frederick, Md. "If they can't do football games or
they can't do baseball games, it will have a huge impact on their income."
Jim Miller, president of the United States Aerial Advertising Association in
Tampa, Fla., and owner of Lambertville-based Air America Aerial Ads, said
the ban could cost his company close to $1 million in annual gross sales.
"Universities have been trying to get us to stop flying for 15 years. This
is not a new fight. They are preying on the emotions of the American people
after 9/11. I'm frustrated that our institutions have done this," Miller
Under the legislation, during the next year, banner-towing planes would not
be allowed to fly over stadiums from one hour before games start until one
hour after games end. After the ban expires, the federal government could
reinstitute a system in which pilots could apply for waivers to advertise
"The events of 9/11 really highlighted the fact there were all kinds of
security concerns for large groups of people in confined areas," said Mike
Waring, executive director of federal relations for the University of
Waring said he is happy the legislation puts personal safety before
"I'm sorry if the pilots are going to lose some money, but as a university,
we've spent a lot of money to shore up or security on the ground," around
the stadium, Waring said. "So it only makes sense to do so in the air. We
don't have a problem with the pilots, we have a problem with the process."
Morningstar said about 400 companies are involved in banner towing
nationally. The law also would affect Major League Baseball and National
Football League games and NCAA sporting events.
Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Federal Aviation
Administration had allowed flights over stadiums after background checks.
But Waring said U-M and other sports league officials were not comfortable
with those checks.
William Shumann, a spokesman for the FAA, declined to respond to Waring's
allegation that the checks were not thorough. He said the FAA granted
waivers with the approval of the FBI and other national security agencies.
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