FBOs File FAA Grievance against Airport

 - February 6, 2012, 3:05 AM

Grand Rapids-based FBOs Northern Air and Rapid Air have filed a Part 16 complaint with the FAA against the Gerald R. Ford International Airport and the Kent County Aeronautics Board charging the panel with discrimination and the violation of the airport’s 2004 master plan and its 2005 minimum standards.

According to the service providers, the board granted permission last year for Executive Air to build a new FBO on the west side of the airport in a location previously designated as off-limits to FBO development. That area, known as “Corporate Row,” is home to many privately owned corporate hangars. In the past–the two claimants state–the airport board consistently denied requests by Northern Air and Rapid Air to develop in that area. The complaint alleges that there is room available for more FBO development on the east side of the airport, including a vacant site on which the airport had already spent more than $3 million in the past to prepare.

The FBOs contend that because the airport has accepted federal funding under the Airport Improvement Program, its decision to allow Executive Air to build on the west side of the airport places is in violation of several FAA regulations. According to the FAA, the airport board had 20 days to respond to the complaint.