For more than 30 years, I’ve tracked residential airparks and encouraged their development and encouraged the aviation community to support them.
Most flyin communities are private – owned and private – use but a significant number have been established over the years on property adjacent to public-owned and public-use airports. These residential airparks have provided financial support, security and even helped FBOs with their business.
Unfortunately, the FAA has taken a ridiculous stand against residential airparks at public-owned airports. The result has been threats to restrict grants for airport improvements and demands for repayment of past grants. The FAA has demanded that TTF (through the fence) agreements be canceled, causing property owners to suffer financial loss as they tried to sell a home.Under fire from the flying community, the FAA issued Airport Compliance Manual Order 5190.6b, prohibiting TTF access.
Under the leadership of Brent Blue, the residential airpark community has fought back. He has been outspoken in his attempts to get this silly piece of FAA rule reversed, especially since it was published without any input from the aviation community at all. And, using Freedom of Information requests as well as your responses to questions we published in General Aviation News and Living With Your Plane, Blue found that the FAA’s supposed reasons for the rule were completely without merit. None of the claims of the FAA were supported by their own records.
Now, the Community Airport Access and Protection Act of 2010 has been introduced in the House by Representative Sam Graves (R-Missouri) and Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa). Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), has introduced the legislation in the Senate.
I encourage you to contact your Congressional delegations and encourage their support for this legislation and I want to express my personal thanks to Blue for his untiring efforts.
APRIL 2 UPDATE FROM BRENT BLUE: The Senate amendment did not make it to the appropriations bill which recently passed. Congressman Graves’ office has not let us know when their bill will be coming up. I will let everyone know as soon as I know.