Should seaplanes be allowed to land on Waldo Lake?

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Internal-combustion engines are banned from Waldo Lake, but last year a state board voted to exempt seaplanes from that prohibition.

The Oregon State Aviation Board meets Thursday in Springfield, Oregon, to take public testimony on proposed rules governing the use of Waldo Lake by seaplanes.

The public hearing starts at 6 p.m. in the Ken Long Conference Room at the Willamalane Center, 250 South 32nd Street, Springfield, Oregon, 97478.

Public testimony is scheduled to run from 6:10 to 7:40 p.m. Speakers must sign up to give testimony, and each speaker will be limited to 2 minutes, according to the aviation board agenda.

"The board may discontinue the public forum after a reasonable time if there are a large number of speakers," according to the board agenda.

The Oregon Marine Board voted in 2012 to exempt seaplanes from the ban.

The proposed rule would help govern seaplanes on Waldo Lake, the aviation board said.

The proposal includes bans on using the lake for training flights.

"Seaplanes will be allowed to access the lake as a form of transportation similar to a motorized vehicle driving to the site," according to the board's rule summary. "The permanent rule will also address seaplane pilots conducting invasive species inspections prior to landing on Waldo Lake."

Text of proposed rule 738-040-037

Waldo Lake Access and the Use of Seaplanes with Certain Restrictions

(1) Seaplane pilots shall not use Waldo Lake for pilot training. Waldo Lake may only be used as
a destination lake for the purpose of recreation. Seaplanes may only be used as the mode of
transportation to and from the lake.

(2) Seaplanes shall be limited in their hours of operation to access Waldo Lake between the
hours of 8 am or 30 minutes after sunrise whichever is later and 8 pm or 30 minutes prior to
sunset whichever is earlier for arrivals and departures.

(3) Seaplane operations on Waldo Lake shall be limited to the eastern half of the lake at a
location where seaplanes can operate safely. Pilots will be responsible for operating in a safe
manner so as to not endanger any persons or watercraft using the lake.

(4) Seaplane pilots shall screen their aircraft for invasive species prior to landing at Waldo Lake.
Any invasive species discovered shall be removed prior to arrival at Waldo Lake.

(5) Pilots shall use best noise abatement procedures consistent with safe operating procedures.
High power taxi such as plow taxi is prohibited except where required for safety.

(6) Pilots are required to notify the Department of Aviation, using an FAA flight plan form
within 48 hours of departure from Waldo Lake to empirically document usage. The Department
shall keep track of seaplane operations to quantify the scope of usage. The Flight Plan report
shall include:
(a) Point of contact including phone number;
(b) Time of arrival;
(c) Time of departure.

(7) Landings as a result of an aircraft emergency are at the discretion of the pilot in command of
the aircraft and are not subject to this rule. Notification to Department of Aviation for
documentation is still required in accordance with paragraph (6) above.