Forums: Skydiving: General Skydiving Discussions: Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight: Edit Log

stratostar  (Student)

Jan 12, 2012, 6:44 AM

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Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight

Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight has now moved to the part 16 formal complaint level. This battle has been going on for a very long time and the city of Creswell has taken the next step to reuse to comply with it's federal grant assurances, it's consultant, like others in other cases try to make the claim there is no safe place to land a parachute on the airport property.

(I'm not speaking for USPA, the FAA or any other person in the industry, I'm posting my personal thoughts on the matter. I could be wrong, no one appointed me the guru of airport access issues!)

As it stands now, the FAA will not enforce the current guidance in any complaints that are a part 13, This could be why Mr. Moore is now moving forward with his part 16 filing?, to force the FAA to issue a ruling in the required 120 days. (part 13 cases have no time frame for rulings, they can go on for ever)
In other business on Monday, the council voted to authorize Shrives to spend up to $25,000 to hire an attorney who specializes in aviation law to provide counsel concerning a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 16 complaint filed on Dec. 27, 2011 by Urban Moore and Eugene Skydivers, L.L.C.

That formal complaint is based on FAA rules "prohibiting establishment of exclusive rights at an airport, unjust discrimination against a commercial aeronautical activity seeking airport access and the establishment of arbitrary, unattainable and discriminatory standards for a commercial aeronautical activity seeking airport access," according to page two of the complaint filed.

The City of Creswell is currently awaiting notice from the FAA that the complaint has been placed on the administrative docket, which the FAA is required to decide within 20 days of receiving the complaint.

Once that decision is made, the city will then have 20 days to respond to the complaint by providing documentation concerning skydiving at the Creswell Airport.

Moore filed a Part 13 (informal) complaint in 2006 with the FAA regional office in Renton, which remains unresolved.

City Administrator Shrives said that the city's last response to the Part 13 complaint was February 2010, when they sent the FAA a study pertaining to the safety of skydivers landing at the airport. The FAA has yet to respond to the Feb. 2010 information and is under no time constraints to do so.

The City of Creswell maintains that safety issues are the reason for prohibiting skydivers from landing at Hobby Field. The primary landing site for the skydivers had always been on land adjacent to the airport which was owned by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

In 2005, ODOT requested that the city provide liability insurance coverage for the permitted use of the land for the first time. The city asked the skydiving companies to provide insurance to cover their operation. The city asserts that skydiving companies' refusal to provide insurance resulted in ODOT's denial of the permitted use of the ODOT property.

The city also hired an investigator, Tim Phillips of Critical Path, Inc. who concluded that there was no safe place to land at the airport.

While Moore chose not to disclose the amount he has spent on attorney fees, he said that his business is off approximately 80 percent since August of 2006, which is the last time his company was able to land at Hobby Field at the Creswell Airport.

"I've sold aircraft. Eventually, I'm going to run out of assets to sell. I went from flying three aircraft for a total of 1080 hours to two aircraft a total of 200 hours," Moore said, noting that his preferred outcome would be that the "City let us use the drop zone that we've used safely for 14 years.

"I want my life back; I want my business back that I spent years building. It was a good business. I'd like not to lose my home," Moore said.

Moore's complaint cites letters from numerous official sources indicating that skydivers are able to safely land at Creswell Airport.

"A subsequent inspection by FAA Headquarters' Flight Service personnel found skydiving could safely be accommodated at Hobby Field," stated Christina Fortarotto, Associate Administrator for Airports, in a letter dated May 13, 2011.

in a letter addressed to then-U.S. Senator Gordon Smith, James Ballough, FAA Director of Flight Standards Service, stated: "The final assessment determined that skydiving at the airport would be a low risk operation if certain mitigating procedures were followed."

The Part 16 (formal) complaint will likely take six months to resolve as Moore, the City of Creswell and the FAA respond to each other within 20-day periods, and then 10-day periods as the process progresses.

At the conclusion of that process, the FAA has 120 days to weigh all information and issue a decision.

(This post was edited by stratostar on Jan 12, 2012, 8:53 AM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by stratostar () on Jan 12, 2012, 6:59 AM
Post edited by stratostar () on Jan 12, 2012, 8:23 AM
Post edited by stratostar () on Jan 12, 2012, 8:53 AM

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