Manager, Airports Division
ANE-600, Room 301
FAA New England Region
12 New England Executive Park
Burlington, MA 01803
October 31, 2006
Subject: Unjust Discrimination at Claremont Municipal Airport, Claremont, NH
Dear Mr. Reid:
The purpose of this letter is to file an official compliant concerning the unjust discrimination at the Claremont Municipal Airport (CNH). Additionally, I respectfully request that you take the necessary action to ensure the managers of Claremont Municipal Airport comply with the Federal Grants of Assurances (22 - economic nondiscrimination, and 23 - exclusive rights), FAA Order 5190.6A, and Public Law 85-726.
I have been on the FBO-maintained waiting list for a hangar at CNH for over 4 years. The FBO manager had informed me that I was #1 on his list about 2 years ago. When the new FAA-funded hangars were built, the Airport Manager refused to honor the existing waiting list, and was very evasive about a new waiting list. After asking him many times about it over the course of about a year, he finally conceded to me (in writing – copy attached) that I was #3 on his waiting list for the new Federally-funded hangars. I should have been #1 on his list, but because there are 6 Federally-funded new hangars, as long as I was in the top 6, I wasn’t going to argue about it.
As early as a year before the hangars were completed, the Airport Manager and the Claremont Business Development Coordinator promised to provide a preview of lease terms. They never did that. As the hangar was nearing completion, I repeatedly asked the Airport Manager and Business Development Coordinator in writing about the leases. These queries were ignored.
When the hangar was completed, the Airport Manager and Business Development Coordinator kept the terms of the hangar leases and the waiting list secret until the day the leases were released. On October 11, I was notified by the Airport Manager that the leases were ready for pickup. When I picked up the lease that morning, there was a cover letter, dated October 10, which ignored the concept of the waiting lists and said the hangar leases would be assigned based on whomever could turn in their signed lease and rent check the fastest. This gave those who had not previously seen the lease no opportunity to properly review the lease before signing it, yet created a situation where people must sign immediately, without proper review, or not get a hangar. By the end of the same day, October 11, all 6 of the hangar leases had been allocated to the Airport Manager’s insiders, ignoring those who had spent years on the waiting list.
In addition, the lease contains discriminatory provisions which prohibit any mechanical work or fabrication in the hangars and requires that any plane stored in the hangar must be “certified and/or registered”. These provisions discriminate against homebuilt aircraft and ultralights, as well as all incomplete aircraft projects. At the very least, an Owner Built And Maintained aircraft must be transported to the airport with the wings off, and then have the wings attached and final assembly mechanical work performed prior to flying the plane. Attaching wings would not be considered “minor maintenance”. The Claremont Municipal Airport lease discriminates against these legal and FAA-supported activities.
The effect of refusing to rent hangers to members of the public who have been on the airport hangar waiting list has the effect of granting an exclusive right to those chosen few who were not on the waiting list, and of creating unjust discrimination against those of us who were/are on that list. The lease, as written, also creates unjust discrimination against owner built and maintained aircraft and ultralights.
In closing, please ensure the management of Claremont Municipal Airport, Claremont, NH, is in complete compliance with the provisions of Public Law 85-726, FAA Order 5190.6A, and the Federal Grant Assurances No. 22 and 23 prior to expending further Federal funds at this airport.
A copy of this letter has been forwarded to the Associate Administrator for Airports, ARP-1 for their information.
cc: Associate Administrator for Airports, ARP-1, 800 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20591.
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