1998 Regular Session
To: Ways and Means; Appropriations
By: Representative Williams
House Bill 783
AN ACT TO ESTABLISH AN OFFICE OF AIR TRANSPORTATION SERVICES WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT; TO PROVIDE THAT SUCH OFFICE SHALL OPERATE AND MAINTAIN CIVILIAN AIRCRAFT FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROMOTING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT WITHIN THIS STATE AND FOR THE USE OF THE GOVERNOR, THE LEGISLATURE AND OTHER STATE AGENCIES, BOARDS, COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS AND INSTITUTIONS; TO ESTABLISH RECORD KEEPING REQUIREMENTS WITH RESPECT TO ANY AIRCRAFT OWNED BY ANY NONMILITARY STATE ENTITY; TO AMEND SECTION 57-1-52, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; TO REPEAL SECTIONS 61-13-1 THROUGH 61-13-25, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROVIDE FOR A FLEET OF NONMILITARY AIRCRAFT OPERATED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION FOR USE BY THE GOVERNOR AND STATE AGENCIES, BOARDS, COMMISSIONS AND DEPARTMENTS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The Department of Economic and Community Development is authorized and empowered to operate and maintain a flight department consisting of civilian aircraft for the purpose of promoting economic development within the State of Mississippi.
These aircraft, under the direction of the Office of Air Transport Services within the Department of Economic and Community Development, shall also be made available for use by the Governor's Office, Legislature and all other state agencies, boards, commissions, departments and institutions.
SECTION 2. The Executive Director of the Department of Economic and Community Development may employ a Director of Aviation for the Office of Air Transportation Services. The Director of Aviation (under the supervision of the Executive Director of the Department of Economic and Community Development) may employ pilots and other technical and administrative personnel he deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this act.
The Director of Aviation shall direct the daily activities of the Office of Air Transport Services. The Executive Director of the Department of Economic and Community Development may fix the compensation of all employees of the office subject to guidelines established by the State Personnel Board.
SECTION 3. There is created a special fund in the State Treasury out of which all costs and expenses incurred pursuant to this act shall be paid. All costs to operate the Office of Air Transport Services, including salaries, repairs and servicing of aircraft, shall be paid from this fund.
The Legislature shall appropriate the necessary monies to carry out the purposes of this act. The Director of Aviation, under the supervision of the Executive Director of the Department of Economic and Community Development, shall disburse over his signature all funds expended for carrying out the provisions of this act.
SECTION 4. The Legislature shall appropriate a predetermined amount from the General Fund each year, calculated by the Office of Air Transport Services, to be placed in the special fund to pay for the cost of operation of the aircraft when used by the Department of Economic and Community Development and the Executive Department. All other state entities shall reimburse the special fund for use of the aircraft by a predetermined charge per hour which shall be calculated and invoiced by the Office of Air Transport Services.
In order to be consistent with Federal Aviation regulations governing the operation of government-owned and operated aircraft, only agencies which share a common treasury can be invoiced for the use of aircraft owned and operated by the State of Mississippi.
SECTION 5. (1) All aircraft owned or operated by any nonmilitary entity of the State of Mississippi shall keep on file a complete record of all flights made, and such record shall be maintained for a period of at least two (2) years. These records shall include at least the following information:
(a) Aircraft registration number;
(b) Date of flight;
(c) Departure and destination points, including all landings;
(d) Names of all occupants on board aircraft; and
(e) Purpose of flight.
(2) When aircraft are utilized by the Department of Economic and Community Development for transporting business prospects and other personnel whose name, if released, could be considered sensitive to the success of business transactions with the State of Mississippi, then the release of the flight manifest and passenger itinerary can be delayed for a period of two (2) years.
SECTION 6. This act shall not be construed to prevent the ownership and operation of aircraft by other boards, departments, institutions, commissions or agencies of the state; however, all such aircraft of Mississippi shall be subject to the record keeping provisions of Section 5 of this act.
SECTION 7. All purchases made by entities of the State of Mississippi for aircraft, equipment, supplies and other related items shall be made in strict compliance with Sections 31-7-1 through 31-7-21, Mississippi Code of 1972.
Any aircraft purchased or operated under the provisions of this act which become surplus to the needs of the state may be sold upon the receipt of not less than three (3) sealed bids after three (3) public announcements inviting such bids in newspapers published in the State of Mississippi and having general circulation therein.
SECTION 8. The Department of Economic and Community Development is hereby authorized to obtain excess liability coverage and any other insurance deemed necessary by the Director of Aviation for the successful operation of the flight department.
SECTION 9. All state agencies, boards, commissions, departments and institutions owning and operating aircraft shall adhere to Part 61 (Certification of pilots) and Part 91 (General operating and flight rules) of the Federal Aviation regulations. All such state entities operating aircraft shall implement an operations/procedures manual concerning the operation of aircraft by that entity and its employees, and shall keep on file a log of all maintenance performed on each aircraft and a record of each pilot's proficiency, certificates and ratings.
SECTION 10. Any violation of the provisions of Sections 1 through 9 of this act shall be punishable upon conviction by a fine not to exceed Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00).
SECTION 11. All aircraft, support equipment, tools, vehicles, hangars, offices, personnel, and all other items associated with the operation of state aircraft by the Department of Finance and Administration under Chapter 13, Title 61, Mississippi Code of 1972, as such chapter existed prior to July 1, 1998, including unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations or other funds, are hereby transferred to the Department of Economic and Community Development.
SECTION 12. Section 57-1-52, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
57-1-52. (1) There is hereby created the Mississippi Department of Economic and Community Development, whose principal offices shall be located in Jackson, Mississippi.
(2) The Mississippi Department of Economic and Community Development shall be organized into the following offices:
(a) Office of Economic Development;
(b) Office of Community Development;
(c) Office of Support Services;
(d) Office of Air Transport Services.
(3) The department shall be headed by an executive director, who shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The appointment of the executive director shall be made with the advice and consent of the Senate. The executive director may assign to the appropriate offices such powers and duties as deemed appropriate to carry out the department's lawful functions.
(4) The executive director of the department shall appoint heads of offices, who shall serve at the pleasure of the executive director. The executive director shall have the authority to organize the offices established by subsection (2) of this section as deemed appropriate to carry out the responsibilities of the department. The organization charts of the department shall be presented annually with the budget request of the Governor for review by the Legislature.
SECTION 13. Sections 1 through 11 of this act shall be codified as separate code sections within Chapter 1, Title 57, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 14. Sections 61-13-1, 61-13-3, 61-13-5, 61-13-7, 61-13-9, 61-13-11, 61-13-13, 61-13-15, 61-13-17, 61-13-19, 61-13-21, 61-13-23 and 61-13-25, Mississippi Code of 1972, which provide for a fleet of nonmilitary aircraft operated under the direction of the Department of Finance and Administration for use by the Governor and state agencies, boards, commissions and departments, are hereby repealed.
SECTION 15. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.