MassDOT: Norwood Violated State Assurance Grants

 - November 29, 2018, 10:18 AM

Following its review of the FAA’s determination that the city of Norwood, Massachusetts, violated federal grant assurances in preventing Boston Executive Helicopters (BEH) from establishing an FBO at Norwood Airport, the aeronautics division of the Massachusetts DOT similarly concluded the city has violated state assurance grants. 

In a November 27 letter to Mark Ryan, chairman of the Norwood Airport Commission, the aeronautics division wrote that it “demands the town and commission comply” with the FAA’s order for the city to “take immediate steps to promptly complete the FBO permitting process with BEH, discontinue leasing practices that provide exclusive rights to a single FBO, and rectify the unauthorized lease of airport land [to Verizon] for non-aeronautical use.”

Furthermore, the letter advised that the aeronautics division “reserves the right to seek additional enforcement under state law until such time as the FAA notifies it that full compliance has been achieved.”

Earlier this month, the FAA finished its analysis of an FAR Part 16 complaint by BEH, finding the town and commission flouted federal grant assurances by “unreasonably denying” BEH the ability to establish an FBO at the airport and “improperly granting” exclusive rights to the existing FBO. The ruling also addressed unauthorized leasing of airport property to Verizon for non-aeronautical use.

The town and the commission have until early next month to appeal. Meanwhile, a trial is set to begin on December 10 in the U.S. Federal Court in Boston to hear the lawsuit filed in 2015 by BEH against the town and the commission over the FBO dispute.