Non-funded airports under FAA reach

We received the following letter from Ed Jeffko relating to our recent (and ongoing) discussion of thru-the-fence arrangements:

If you think the FAA doesn’t reach into non FAA funded airports, think again. The FAA’s little brother, WSDOT is in lockstep.

I have 60 acres and my neighbor has 90 acres adjoining the Tonasket, Washington airport. We approached the city council to consider a TTF agreement so that we may do some development. They took it under advisement.

Meanwhile, an airport plan was being funded by WSDOT. The planner I spoke to had no problem with a TTF agreement. However, WSDOT had other ideas. They told the city if they approved a TTF agreement, Tonasket Muni would get no more grant funding.

How’s that for the feds messing in local affairs. Big brother, little brother.

Oh well, on to plan B. I do have a plan B.

Ed Jeffko
Tonasket, WA

2 replies on “Non-funded airports under FAA reach”

I’m a little confused. Who is providing the Grant money, the FAA or WSDOT???
If the Grants come from the FAA, then they do have input as to what plans are approved/disapproved, plus the airport is obligated to the FAA to abide by certain requirements. On the other hand, if the money is provided by the state (WSDOT) then the FAA may provide advice, but decisions and operations are under the osposis of WSDOT and Airport Management.

Sounds like politics are at play here. Could it be that WSDOT and FAA are somehow comingling with each other in this particular case? Or not. I’m not sure what role the FAA has in this particular matter but it appears they are causing grief for public-owned airports in the Northwest Mountain Region. Regardless, I would like to know “specifically” what the FAA agents have been telling sponsors of public-owned airports. Dave quotes existing agreements have been practiced for 30-40 years without objection… Perhaps FAA gave up their alleged right to enforce such matters due to the time that has been allowed to pass without objection? Regarding concerns from both FAA and WSDOT (local entities), perhaps the best defense is to amend existing agreements into iron-clad agreement(s)? I’d like to see what specifically (the verbiage) empowers WSDOT and/or FAA the alleged right to pull the plug on any public-owned airport. I’ll bet there is quite a bit of ambiguity in their interpretation which, might provide more teeth to public-owned airports. Or not. One thing is certain, WSDOT has an agenda and has put forth effort to find ambiguity of existing agreements to ensure they succeed with their own agenda, whatever that might be. Dave is right. Something needs to be done before it gets out of hand.

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