City and airport officials in Paso Robles, California, are facing scrutiny from the FAA because of a discrimination complaint filed by a local ultralight group.
The brouhaha began when FAA and California Department of Transportation officials told the city that aircraft could not use ramps or taxiways as runways. Traditionally, ultralights at Paso Robles Municipal Airport (PRB) have used a taxiway as a runway. When officials sent a letter to all airport users enforcing the rules, the Paso Robles Ultralight Association cried foul and filed a discrimination complaint against the airport and city.
The ultralight pilots contend that, since they are not permitted on the regular runway, they are being denied reasonable access to the airport. A spokesman for the ultralight group accuses the airport manager and city officials of trying to push them off the airport.
Airport officials contend they are trying to find a way to accommodate all airport users, including the ultralight pilots, but note that now their energy has been diverted to answer the FAA complaint.