FAA NORTHWEST REGIONAL OFFICE UPHOLDS AIRPORT BOARD
On July 31, 2019 FAA’s Northwest Regional Office issued a decision finding that the Jackson Hole Airport Board is in compliance with its grant assurances. The FAA decision was on a Part 13 complaint filed against the Jackson Hole Airport Board by Wyoming Jet Center LLC (“WJC”). The WJC complaint argued that the Board had violated its FAA “grant assurances” in four respects. Grant assurances are federally required commitments which the Board must make in accepting each FAA grant. The FAA decision dismissed WJC’s complaint on all counts and found it to be without merit.
WJC had first alleged that the Board’s decision to become the sole FBO on the Airport violated its duty to allow a second FBO to operate. FAA found the Board can provide any or all of the aeronautical services needed by the public at the Airport. This allows the Board to become the sole on-airport FBO for any reason. WJC had also argued that the Board was unreasonably delaying its actual operation of the FBO. FAA found that Board was justified in taking time to ensure its actions comply with laws and grant assurances, and WJC itself may have had a role in prolonging the process.
WJC also alleged the Board is discriminating against non-corporate, and piston-powered general aviation aircraft by tearing down old facilities in favor of new modern facilities. FAA found that the Board’s redevelopment concept to replace aging hangars with new facilities is consistent with good planning and FAA- approved aircraft activity forecasts. WJC had failed to explain why this is not a justified response to the changing fleet mix and economic realities of the Airport.
The third WJC allegation was that the Board had submitted unsubstantiated and inconsistent financial reports to FAA. A review of the Board’s 2018 filings verified that the Board’s response had satisfied the filing requirement and had provided comprehensive and accurate financial information.
Finally, WJC alleged the Board was in violation of grant assurances by failing to collect a “percentage fee” from the current FBO. FAA found that WJC had not provided any reasoning as to why a failure to collect a percentage of fees from the FBO is contrary to the grant assurances or FAA policy.
The Airport Board is pleased with FAA’s findings that Wyoming Jet Center’s complaint was without merit, and that the Airport is in compliance with the relevant grant assurances.