Proposed Rules Challenged by Norwood Helo Ops

 - December 16, 2010, 11:11 AM

Norwood Memorial Airport (Mass.) manager Russ Maguire has proposed rules for helicopter operations that he says will improve safety, access and efficiency. But several based helicopter companies and owners claim the rules would severely and unfairly limit their operations. At least one operator, Blue Hill Helicopter, says the rules could drive its pilot training business off the airport. One of the proposals would disallow use of the FBO helicopter ramp by transient operators without written permission from the FBO and the airport manager. Another proposal would prohibit helicopter operations on certain taxiways. An attorney for two airport tenants alleges that the rules are “discriminatory” and violate not only lease agreements but FAA grant assurances as well. However, Maguire says, “The intent of these proposed revisions is to formalize current provisional procedures and expand helicopter operating areas.” Maguire submitted the draft rules to the Norwood Airport Commission during its regular meeting yesterday, but at the urging of helicopter operators in attendance, it was agreed that an informal session would be scheduled among the stakeholders to explore other options for achieving the airport’s intended goals.