Lawsuit Likely Over Penalties by Norwood Airport

 - April 8, 2010, 12:47 PM

The Norwood (Mass.) Airport Commission has adopted two resolutions to punish Boston Air Charter (BAC) for an alleged “public hazard” by launching two Citations on March 17 without proper ATC clearance while Norwood Airport was closed to fixed-wing operations due to flooding. The resolutions adopted at a public hearing on Tuesday–where commission members refused several attempts by BAC’s attorney, Matthew Watsky, to make a presentation on the operator’s behalf–would suspend BAC’s operating certificate and force BAC to vacate its ramp lease at Norwood. The resolutions must get final approval by the commission at a later meeting, but normally only the FAA can suspend a Part 135 certificate. Watsky told AIN that BAC will likely file a lawsuit against the town of Norwood over the resolutions. He said the commission’s actions denied BAC due process and are inconsistent with the commission’s own rules and regulations. Further, Watsky said the Citation pilots received an “appropriate clearance” when Norwood Tower controllers provided squawk and communications frequencies and told them they were departing at their own risk. In the meantime, the Boston FSDO continues its investigation to determine if the Citation pilots violated ATC clearance requirements of FAR 91.129.