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Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight

 

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stratostar  (Student)

Jan 12, 2012, 6:44 AM
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Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight Can't Post

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)

http://www.thecreswellchronicle.com/...y.cfm?story_no=10042
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.
Quote:


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


CSpenceFLY  (D 25252)

Jan 12, 2012, 8:04 AM
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Re: [stratostar] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

It's ashame that this same dog and pony show is allowed to play out over and over and over again.


TheCaptain  (D License)

Jan 12, 2012, 8:48 AM
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Re: [stratostar] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

City Counsel meeting 2009


(This post was
edited by TheCaptain on Jan 12, 2012, 8:52 AM)


TheCaptain  (D License)

Jan 12, 2012, 8:53 AM
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Re: [TheCaptain] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

I love that they are discussing what to do about skydivers not having insurance and will not let Urban explain that he has insurance to cover it.


(This post was edited by TheCaptain on Jan 12, 2012, 8:56 AM)


Southern_Man  (C License)

Jan 12, 2012, 11:11 AM
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Re: [stratostar] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
(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!)

You consistently post and follow these types of activities. I am wondering what sparked your special interest and if you have specialized knowledge or have participated in airport access fights of your own?

Not meant to distract from this topic in particular, I appreciate that you follow these things and attempt to keep us updated, just curious as to why.


stratostar  (Student)

Jan 12, 2012, 11:12 AM
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Re: [Southern_Man] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
have participated in airport access fights of your own?

Yes, currently pending for 4 years now.


ixlr82  (C 33491)

Jan 12, 2012, 7:22 PM
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Re: [stratostar] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

Creswell had/has one of the nicest and safest landing areas I've ever jumped at, with outs everywhere. If this LZ is unsafe, I have yet to jump at a safe one.


SStewart  (D 10405)

Jan 12, 2012, 10:43 PM
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Re: [ixlr82] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Creswell had/has one of the nicest and safest landing areas I've ever jumped at, with outs everywhere. If this LZ is unsafe, I have yet to jump at a safe one.

You are correct sir. This has nothing to do about safety it is yet another example of a low form of government (in this case a city council) trying to over-ride a higher form of government, the FAA. Why the FAA has not stepped up and enforced the law I can not even speculate.

I grew up in Oregon and at one point we had 7 active dropzones. At this point we are down to one active turbine dropzone and a few small dwindling 182 operations that are on the way out. If the trend continues there will be no place to jump in Oregon.

This is not just unique to Oregon, this trend has been happening nation wide. The small skydiving clubs and schools are dying and no one seems to care. It will get to the point where you will have to travel long distances or live close to a large city with a commercial dropzone nearby if you want to jump.

The small dropzones fuel the large ones, jumpers from the small DZ's go to boogies, travel when the weather is bad. What happens when they stop coming because there is no place to jump back home?

What happens when there is no upward mobility and only the very wealthy or people who live near highly populated areas have access to a dropzone?

It is happening my friends and people better wake up or someday you may find your dropzone closed and the only option is to go to another state to jump.


stratostar  (Student)

Jan 13, 2012, 6:04 AM
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Re: [SStewart] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Why the FAA has not stepped up and enforced the law I can not even speculate.

I'll go there. It's easy to forget ( I've done it) that a part 13 informal complaint is, well informal and more or less like a mediation process, more or less it's showing the courts the party tired to get compliance via talks mediated through the FAA and when all that fails, you move onto a part 16 formal complaint

As a side note, (also east to forget) a part 13 case, the FAA (as I understand it) will not issue a ruling, but they will make a determination as to an airport sponsors compliance or not. The most important thing that is sometime forgotten about a PT 13, is it's open ended and there is no time limit for the FAA to make a determination on an informal complaint. Maybe this is why they filed to the next level???

Regardless of all that, Scott, your post is pretty much right on and sums it up.

I do know one thing, all this bullshit will make your head spin trying to keep track of all the rules and subsections in the guidance, more so if your knee deep in the pile.

http://www.faa.gov/...mpliance/complaints/

Quote:
Informal Complaints (Part 13)

The FAA accepts informal complaints either verbally or in writing under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 13 (Part 13), Investigative and Enforcement Procedures (Section 13.1 ONLY). FAA regional staff usually looks into these complaints.

Part 13 imposes no time deadlines for issuing decisions.

Formal Complaints (Part 16)

The FAA accepts formal complaints in writing under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 16 (Part 16), Rules of Practice for Federally-Assisted Airport Enforcement Proceedings. Parties filing under Part 16 must be substantially affected by the alleged noncompliance. FAA headquarters staff looks into these complaints.

Part 16 imposes strict deadlines for filing, adjudication, and appeal. The Regulation lists specific requirements for filing a Part 16 complaint.


(This post was edited by stratostar on Jan 13, 2012, 10:30 AM)


rowet  (D License)

Jan 13, 2012, 8:43 AM
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Re: [stratostar] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

so will this mean fun jumpers will be allowed back there? did my first tandem there 9 years ago and haven't been back but would love to jump there again.


stratostar  (Student)

Jan 13, 2012, 10:27 AM
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Re: [rowet] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't answer that question, not my dz.


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Jan 13, 2012, 11:28 AM
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Re: [SStewart] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Scott,

Well put.

As I understand the local scuttlebutt, the City of Creswell really wants to get rid of the airport completely.

One problem with these types of smaller dzs efforts is that a smaller dzo quite often simply does have the $$$ to keep going at it. In this case the City of Creswell does.

JerryBaumchen

PS) Let me add some further local scuttlebutt. The City of Creswell is fighting tooth 'n' Nail because if Urban eventually wins, he will sue them for his loss of income during this whole broughaha; and that would be a fair chunk of change.


(This post was edited by JerryBaumchen on Jan 13, 2012, 11:31 AM)


stratostar  (Student)

Jan 13, 2012, 11:49 AM
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
if Urban eventually wins, he will sue them for his loss of income during this whole broughaha; and that would be a fair chunk of change.

That would be a good thing to have on the public record for all the other people down the road. I hope he wins and I wish the FAA would stop goofing off and enforce the current regulations for everyone, it;s a nice pipe dream though....


SStewart  (D 10405)

Jan 15, 2012, 12:31 AM
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Re: [stratostar] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
Why the FAA has not stepped up and enforced the law I can not even speculate.

I'll go there. It's easy to forget ( I've done it) that a part 13 informal complaint is, well informal and more or less like a mediation process, more or less it's showing the courts the party tired to get compliance via talks mediated through the FAA and when all that fails, you move onto a part 16 formal complaint

As a side note, (also east to forget) a part 13 case, the FAA (as I understand it) will not issue a ruling, but they will make a determination as to an airport sponsors compliance or not. The most important thing that is sometime forgotten about a PT 13, is it's open ended and there is no time limit for the FAA to make a determination on an informal complaint. Maybe this is why they filed to the next level???

Regardless of all that, Scott, your post is pretty much right on and sums it up.

I do know one thing, all this bullshit will make your head spin trying to keep track of all the rules and subsections in the guidance, more so if your knee deep in the pile.

http://www.faa.gov/...mpliance/complaints/

Quote:
Informal Complaints (Part 13)

The FAA accepts informal complaints either verbally or in writing under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 13 (Part 13), Investigative and Enforcement Procedures (Section 13.1 ONLY). FAA regional staff usually looks into these complaints.

Part 13 imposes no time deadlines for issuing decisions.

Formal Complaints (Part 16)

The FAA accepts formal complaints in writing under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 16 (Part 16), Rules of Practice for Federally-Assisted Airport Enforcement Proceedings. Parties filing under Part 16 must be substantially affected by the alleged noncompliance. FAA headquarters staff looks into these complaints.

Part 16 imposes strict deadlines for filing, adjudication, and appeal. The Regulation lists specific requirements for filing a Part 16 complaint.

Let me take this a step further....

Skydivers have always been their worst enemy. We have the law on our side but we don't know how to apply it. In most cases we just can't afford it.

In the last week we have lost another advocate and now the number of dropzones is shrinking.

Wake the fuck up people, our sport is under attack and we have to fight back and keep the small dropzones alive.


stratostar  (Student)

Jan 15, 2012, 6:14 AM
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Re: [SStewart] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
In the last week we have lost another advocate

Please tell us more, if you can.


IanHarrop  (C 1152)

Feb 11, 2012, 6:20 AM
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Re: [stratostar] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

Airport on chopping block in Creswell

http://www.kval.com/...osure-139066649.html

CRESWELL, Ore.--The City of Creswell is considering closing its airport.

City leaders say the legal battle with Eugene Skydivers over using the airport is just too expensive and may force them to close the Creswell Airport entirely.

This battle goes back to 2006 when the city of Creswell stopped letting the Eugene Skydivers use the airport to land saying it was too dangerous.

Both sides have racked up large legal fees that are threatening both the small business and the future of the Creswell Airport.

“’I’ve sold cars and trucks and motorcycles and the furniture inside the house has been sold," said Urban Moore with Eugene Skydivers.

Moore said that since the city denied his small business permission to land skydivers at Hobby Field in Creswell back in 2006, business has taken a toll.

“We have to sell our house, it’s pretty much empty on the inside,” said Moore.

Moore said the city shouldn't be able to keep his skydiving company from using airport land because the city is obligated to work with airport tenants based on federal grant guidelines.

“Were a part of aviation,” said Moore. “We're a legitimate use of air space and airports and for them to not allow us to jump is a discrimination.”

Creswell City Administrator Mark Shrives says the city is also suffering financially. Facing legal costs of up to $100,000 could make it too expensive to keep the airport open, he said.

That’s forcing the city to ask themselves if the airport is worth it.

“How long do you continue to take funds from the city's general fund to fund the airport?” Shrives asked.

This all stems from the City's concerns about determining if it’s safe to use their airport for skydiving. Both sides want the Federal Aviation Administration to weigh in.

“It’s been really frustrating trying to get some guidance from the FAA," said Shrives.

Now that Eugene Skydiving’s original informal complaint has become a formal complaint the city is looking at their legal cost if they could in fact legally shut the airport under federal rules.

The City of Creswell wants to know if residents think the airport is worth the legal battle before making any initial assessment.

The city is asking for public comment regarding the future of the airport after a special executive session at the Creswell Community Center, Feb. 14, at 6:30 pm.


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

Feb 11, 2012, 8:16 AM
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Re: [IanHarrop] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

Just a question here... who owns the land?


grimmie  (D 18890)

Feb 11, 2012, 8:23 AM
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Re: [skyjumpenfool] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

This is posturing by the city. If they have accepted FAA funding, they are obligated to keep the airport open.

Don't try to understand why some airport sponsors restrict access to skydiving and other commercial aeronautical operations. It will make you just shake your head.Crazy

Signed,
Fighting for airport access since March, 2010.


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Feb 11, 2012, 12:14 PM
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Re: [grimmie] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Rich,

Quote:
If they have accepted FAA funding, they are obligated to keep the airport open.

I'm not able to quote line & verse from any FARs regarding this type of thing, but these are my thoughts on this also.

Stay tuned, film at 11.

JerryBaumchen


kallend  (D 23151)

Feb 11, 2012, 1:00 PM
Post #20 of 109 (8175 views)
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Hi Rich,

Quote:
If they have accepted FAA funding, they are obligated to keep the airport open.

I'm not able to quote line & verse from any FARs regarding this type of thing, but these are my thoughts on this also.

Stay tuned, film at 11.

JerryBaumchen

Jerry,

It's a contractual obligation, not a FAR,


stratostar  (Student)

Feb 11, 2012, 2:02 PM
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

It's in chapter 4 of FAA order 5190.6B airport compliance manual.


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Feb 11, 2012, 2:11 PM
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Re: [stratostar] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi strat, and John,

Thanks for the info.

It would seem as though the small town of Creswell, Oregon is digging a deeper & deeper financial hole.

This is the type of thing that can bankrupt a small town.

Too bad in my book, Mad

JerryBaumchen


FastRon

Feb 11, 2012, 2:22 PM
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

 
<Well put.

As I understand the local scuttlebutt, the City of Creswell really wants to get rid of the airport completely.

JerryBaumchen>

I agree-
In other venues, we've seen the real agenda behind efforts like the City of Creswell- driven by behind-the-scene developer money. Is there already a buyer for the airport property? Is Creswell proactively spending money on the issue? Do cities usually do that unless they anticipate a method to recoup? Cities usually employ people to advise them on 'issues' like that, to make (better?) financial decisions...

I don't know Creswell but airport properties don't reqire a lot of earthwork to prep for buildings and parking for stuff like malls, industrial parks, casinos and racetracks. Don't they all bring more tax revenues to the city, than airports do?
Just saying.


kallend  (D 23151)

Feb 11, 2012, 3:14 PM
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Re: [FastRon] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
<Well put.

As I understand the local scuttlebutt, the City of Creswell really wants to get rid of the airport completely.

JerryBaumchen>

I agree-
In other venues, we've seen the real agenda behind efforts like the City of Creswell- driven by behind-the-scene developer money. Is there already a buyer for the airport property? Is Creswell proactively spending money on the issue? Do cities usually do that unless they anticipate a method to recoup? Cities usually employ people to advise them on 'issues' like that, to make (better?) financial decisions...

I don't know Creswell but airport properties don't reqire a lot of earthwork to prep for buildings and parking for stuff like malls, industrial parks, casinos and racetracks. Don't they all bring more tax revenues to the city, than airports do?
Just saying.

If the city tries to close an airport that has received FAA grant money, then AOPA will undoubtedly get involved.


stratostar  (Student)

Feb 11, 2012, 3:25 PM
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Re: [FastRon] Eugene Skydivers- Airport Access Fight [In reply to] Can't Post

The question at hand is when did the city last take federal funds? That is when the clock starts, you can't close the airport if the contractual requirements have not been met under the AIP funding.

from FAA order 5190.6B chapter 2 page13.

Quote:
(1) Grant agreements for development other than land purchase. Pavement and other facilities built to FAA standards are designed to last at least 20 years, and the duration of the obligation should generally be assumed to be 20 years. The duration may be shorter for grants made exclusively for certain equipment, such as a vehicle, that clearly has a useful life shorter than 20 years.

From chapter 4 page two4.3. The Duration of Federal Grant Obligations. Federal obligations relating to the use, operation, and maintenance of the airport remain in effect throughout the useful life of the facilities developed under the project, but not to exceed 20 years. In cases where land was acquired with federal assistance under AIP, the federal land obligations remain in perpetuity.

In cases where land was acquired with FAAP or ADAP grants, FAA should review the language of such grants when it is necessary to determine the status of the sponsor’s obligations since most FAAP land grants and some ADAP grant documents do not impose a perpetual obligation. For
disposal of a specific parcel, the sponsor’s obligation to reinvest the proceeds may depend on the grant history for that particular parcel. (More information about this process is contained in this Order in chapter 22, Releases from Federal Obligations.)

Before concluding that a sponsor’s grant obligations have expired, the FAA should review all land grants at the airport to ensure that no land grant contains a perpetual obligation. All AIP land grants and most surplus property deeds of conveyance include the obligation to operate the airport property as an airport in perpetuity.
Quote:


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