Ninety percent of the funds employed in developing, maintaining or repairing public use airports typically are provided by the FAA, with the airport owner/sponsor agreeing to honor FAA Sponsor Grant Assurances. These Sponsor Grant Assurances contain a considerable number of obligations including prohibitions against economic discrimination, prohibitions against fixed base operator enjoying the exclusive right to provide services at the airport, requirements that fixed base operators on the airport pay the same rates and charges, requirements that the airport be maintained suitably by the sponsor, requirements that the sponsor not divest itself of the rights and powers necessary to manage and maintain the airport, and requirements that the sponsor maintain a current Airport Layout Plan. Extensive experience in both Part 16 formal complaints and Part 13 informal complaints to address violations of the FAA Sponsor Grant Assurances. 

Wow! When you talk about Public Use Airports, you are getting into some convoluted relationships. There’s the entity that owns/sponsors and operates the airport. They are usually the same…but not necessarily. The County or City may own, but a management company is running it. It could be a small airport in the middle of nowhere with private individuals controlling even though the county owns it. They might like you. They might not. They may be partial to another aeronautical user and not you. They may jockey for a company that brings in more revenue even though you are legally on the airport for years and push you out. It’s sort of like Thanksgiving Dinner with both sides of the family competing against each other. YIKES!

The FAA has all these regulations, Advisory Circulars, Directives, etc. which are mostly ignored by the airport owner/sponsor. Sometimes, they just simply think that they can do what they want even though the signed Grant Assurances from the federal government which bring in LOTS of money for the airport owner/sponsor say differently. Many times, the aeronautical user on the airport (YOU) does not feel there is any recourse against the discrimination or random demands promulgated to get you off the airport in favor of another aeronautical user. Contact Alan today for a consultation.

Read Alan’s articles on Claims Against Operators of Public Airports:

Palm Beach requests stay on jet ban decision at Lantana Airport

On May 3, 2021, Palm Beach County (“PBC”) submitted a letter to the FAA Director of Airports requesting a stay of the FAA’s Final Agency Decision (“FAD”) requiring PBC to permit jets to operate at the Lantana Airport (KLNA). Three days after the FAA Final Agency Decision, PBC filed a Petition for Review with the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

The Continuing Saga of Lantana Air Park

Captain Errol Forman (a retired Eastern Airlines pilot) has been engaged in a struggle with Palm Beach County for nearly five years to force Palm Beach County to lift its restriction on the operation of jet aircraft at the Palm Beach County Park commonly known as...

Palm Beach County Jet Ban at Lantana Air Park Struck Down by FAA, January 13, 2021

The complaining party was Captain Errol Forman who is represented by Alan Armstrong, Esq., of Atlanta, Georgia. The FAA Associate Administrator struck down as a violation of FAA Sponsor Grant Assurance 22, the “Jet Ban” at KLNA.  The FAA has not only stricken the jet...

A Primer on Aircraft Mechanic’s Liens

Aircraft mechanic’s liens are the bane of aircraft repair facilities and lawyers. Unlike a lawsuit on account, a mechanic’s lien affords the repair facility or aircraft mechanic leverage. An unpaid lien asserted against an aircraft may prevent the aircraft owner from selling the aircraft until and unless he pays the mechanic’s lien…

Press Release: Washington DC, March 6, 2020

Today, the Tuscola Area Airport Authority, the Friends of Tuscola Airport Authority, Inc., and other concerned governmental entities and private citizens caused to be filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia the Initial Brief of...

Delta Flight 89 dumps fuel on schools

The crew of Delta Flight 89 dumped fuel on schools after an engine failure and not flying above the minimum height for fuel to evaporate.

Alan Armstrong on WGCL TV News, Oct. 30, 2019: Deadly Airplane Crash in Dekalb County

Alan Armstrong is interviewed by Ashley Thompson of WGCL TV News about the crash of a Piper PA-28 that crashed near the Peachtree-DeKalb Airport on Oct. 30, 2019.

Wind Farms and Public Use Airports – Why the FAA Fails to Ensure Air Safety

The explosion of wind turbine developments across the United States does not bode well for the continued viability of many public use airports. Overview of the Problem Increasingly, wind farms with wind turbine generators (WTGs) nearly 500 feet above ground level...

NOTE: This section does not cover everything there is to know about Claims Against Operators of Public Use Airports.

E. Alan Armstrong
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