CLAIMS AGAINST OPERATORS OF PUBLIC USE AIRPORTS
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.
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NOTE: This section does not cover everything there is to know about Claims Against Operators of Public Use Airports.