UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION
WASHINGTON, D.C.


In The Matter of Compliance
With Federal Obligations
By the City of Pompano Beach, Florida


To the Office of the Chief Counsel
Attention: FAA Part 16 Airport Proceedings Docket
AGC-610
Federal Aviation Administration
800 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20591

COMPLAINT OF THE
AIRCRAFT OWNERS AND PILOTS ASSOCIATION
AND INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF THE ASSOCIATION,
FILED PURSUANT TO 14 C.F.R. PART 16, RULES OF PRACTICE FOR
FEDERALLY-ASSISTED AIRPORT ENFORCEMENT PROCEEDINGS

Designation of Persons to Receive Service for Complainants:

Bill. Dunn
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
421 Aviation Way
Frederick, MD 21701
Kathleen A. Yodice
601 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Suite 875, South Building
Washington, D.C. 20004

 

COMPLAINT OF THE
AIRCRAFT OWNERS AND PILOTS ASSOCIATION
AND NINE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS

COMES NOW, the Complainants hereby file this complaint in accordance with the Federal Aviation Administration's Rules of Practice For Federally-Assisted Airport Enforcement Proceedings, 14 C.F.R. Part 16, alleging noncompliance by the Respondent of its obligations under property deeds and federal law applicable to the operation of an airport that it owns and controls.

  1. The Complainants herein are the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association ("AOPA"), 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, MD 21701, and its individual members who have been directly and substantially affected by the non-compliance of the City of Pompano Beach (collectively, the "Complainants"). The individual members ("Individual Complainants") named below are persons who operate aircraft at the Airpark and who are directly and substantially affected by the non-compliance of the City:
  2. Bill Bahlke
    Lighthouse Point, FL

    Reagan L. DuBose
    Pompano Beach, FL

    Philip DeSantis
    Pompano Beach, FL

    Howard G. Soloff
    Boca Raton, FL

    Laurence K. Mellgren
    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    David Watkins
    Deerfield Beach, FL

    Joseph Haughey
    Lighthouse Point, FL

    Robert Kwass
    Lighthouse Point, FL

    Herbert Jacobs
    Lighthouse Point, FL
  3. The Respondent City of Pompano Beach, Florida (the "City," or the "Respondent"), is the owner of Pompano Beach Airpark ("Airpark"), a public-use airport. The Airpark was transferred to the City by the United States of America by Quitclaim Deed dated August 29, 1947, Quitclaim Deed (Correctional) dated December 18, 1947, and Supplemental Quitclaim Deed dated June 24, 1948, for public airpark purposes, subject to the terms, conditions, reservations, and restrictions set forth therein.

  4. In said deeds, the City took the Airpark subject to certain restrictions which run with the land and are imposed pursuant to the authority of Article 4, Section 3, Clause 2 of the Constitution of the United States of America, the Surplus Property Act of 1944, as amended, Executive Order 9689, and applicable rules, regulations and orders. In said deeds, the City, for itself and its successors and assigns, agreed that the transfer of the Airpark is accepted subject to these restrictions.

  5. Among the deed restrictions is the restriction that all of the property transferred shall be used for airport purposes for the use and benefit of the public on reasonable terms and without unjust discrimination and without grant or exercise of any exclusive right for the use of the Airpark. The City further agreed that upon breach of this restriction, or any other of the enumerated deed restrictions, the title, right of possession, and all other rights transferred under the deeds shall at the option of the United States revert to the United States.

  6. The City has imposed on the public and the Complainants herein, terms of use of the Airpark that are unreasonable and otherwise in violation of the restriction and agreement that the Airpark shall be used for airport purposes for the use and benefit of the public on reasonable terms and without unjust discrimination and without grant or exercise of any exclusive right for the of the Airpark, as more particularly set forth in paragraph 6, below.

  7. The City has adopted an Ordinance or Ordinances prohibiting and restricting the following operations at the Airpark (with exemption for government aircraft and "bona fide" emergencies):

    1. prohibiting stop-and-go activity at all times;
    2. restricting touch-and-go activity to Monday through Friday during the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., and banning touch-and-go activity on weekends and legal holidays;
    3. prohibiting intersection take-offs;
    4. prohibiting prolonged running of aircraft engines between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.;
    5. prohibiting the operation of manned glider aircraft;
    6. restricting taxi-back activity to Monday through Friday during the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., and banning taxi-back activity on weekends and legal holidays;
    7. including rotorcraft in the prohibitions and restrictions on aircraft;
      a violation of any of which is punishable as a misdemeanor by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars or imprisonment for a term not exceeding sixty days, or both, and which is punishable administratively by denial of use of the Airpark and by revocation of permits, leases, and licenses.

  8. "Stop-and-go," "touch-and-go," "intersection take-offs," engine run-ups, "manned glider aircraft" operations, and "taxi-back," as those terms are defined in the Ordinance or Ordinances, are all normal and necessary aircraft operations routinely conducted by aircraft owners and pilots at other airports similar to the Airpark.

  9. The restricting and prohibiting of these normal and necessary aircraft operations at the Airpark is unreasonable, arbitrary, unjustly discriminatory, and otherwise in violation of the deed restrictions described above, the Surplus Property Act (now codified at 49 U.S.C. 47151-47153), the Airport Noise and Capacity Act (49 U.S.C. 47521-47533), the Federal Aviation Act (49 U.S.C. 47101), and the Commerce Clause of the Constitution of the United States.

  10. In accordance with section 16.21 of the FAA's Rules of Practice for Federally-Assisted Airport Enforcement Proceedings, the Complainants certify that substantial and reasonable good faith efforts to resolve this disputed matter informally prior to the filing of this complaint have been made and there does not appear to be any reasonable prospect for timely resolution of this dispute. In fact, any attempts at informal resolution would appear to be futile. In particular, the Complainants have communicated their objections for some time, orally and in writing, to the City's intention to adopt the described ordinance. These objections were made known to the City as part of a public hearing before the City Commission in the City Commission Chambers of the City. Furthermore, in a memo provided prior to the adoption of the ordinance, the City's outside counsel and expert consultant communicated to the City that the existing and proposed ordinances are at risk of being found in violation of law. In addition, the FAA's Orlando Airport District Office prepared and sent a letter to the City that advised the City of the FAA's interpretation that adoption and implementation of the described ordinance would constitute a violation of the City's legal obligations. As part of the process in adopting the ordinance, the minutes of the City's meeting indicate that there was specific and substantial discussion of the objections and legal risks of adopting the ordinance, and that the City intentionally decided to proceed with adopting the proposed ordinance and continuing with the existing ordinance and wait to see what the FAA will do. Under these circumstances, it does not appear that the City will rescind or modify the described ordinances in such a manner that would timely or appropriately resolve the apparent non-compliance without the use of the Part 16 complaint process.

WHEREFORE, Complainants pray that the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration conduct an investigation of the subject matter of this Complaint; issue an order that the City cease and desist from imposing the unreasonable prohibitions and restrictions listed above and otherwise violating the deed restrictions and the Act; take action to effect the reversion option of the United States, as provided in the applicable deeds; and issue any other appropriate compliance order to carry out the provisions of the applicable law.

Submitted by

Bill Dunn
Vice President
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
421 Aviation Way
Frederick, MD 21701
Tel. No. 301-695-2205

 

Kathleen A. Yodice
Law Offices of Yodice Associates
601 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Suite 875, South Building
Washington, D.C. 20004
Tel. No. 202-737-3030

Certification of service

I hereby certify that I have this day served the foregoing complaint on the City of Pompano Beach, Attn: C. William Hargett, Jr., City Manager at 100 West Atlantic Blvd, Pompano Beach, FL 33060.

Dated: _____________          By: _________________________


[Copied from www.aopa.org/whatsnew/newsitems/2004/04-1-004x_letter.html Sept. 21, 2004]