Judge Agrees To Hear BEH Argument over FBO Agreement

 - April 15, 2019, 12:01 PM

Judge Richard Stearns of the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts denied a motion by Boston Executive Helicopters to reschedule the trial of a BEH lawsuit against the city of Norwood, Massachusetts, but he did agree to hear arguments over a disputed out-of-court settlement agreement. Just days before the trial was to begin late last year, the two parties reached an agreement in principle that would permit BEH to establish an FBO at Norwood Memorial Airport and allow the airport to again qualify for federal grant assurances.

Terms of the agreement were intended to generally follow recommendations by the FAA in a Part 16 study made at the request of BEH. In that study, the agency concluded that the city of Norwood “unfairly and illegally prevented BEH from establishing an FBO in violation of federal grant assurances.”

However, according to court documents obtained by AIN, airport officials have allegedly reneged on several key issues. Consequently, BEH filed a motion requesting the court to order the city of Norwood to adhere to all the provisions agreed to in the original settlement document or dismiss it and reschedule the trial.

The agreement to settle the case out of court essentially closed the door to rescheduling a trial. However, to address BEH’s dispute over the settlement agreement, the judge ruled “the court will hold an evidentiary hearing on May 28 to determine if the parties entered into a valid settlement agreement and, if so, whether the term sheet or the general release and settlement agreement controls.”