U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Aviation Administration
New England Region
12 New England Executive Park
Burlington, MA 01803
Mr. Guy Santagate
City of Claremont
58 Opera House Square
Claremont, NH 03743
Dear Mr. Santagate:
This is in reference to the complaint filed by Mr. Brian Meyette alleging unjust discrimination by the City of Claremont, New Hampshire.
Mr. Meyette's complaint is based on the following:
He was denied the opportunity to lease a hangar at the Airport when the City did not utilize a waiting list for the new FAA funded hangar facility. In doing so, Mr.Meyette alleges that the City exercised an exclusive right.
This allegation of exclusive rights only applies to individuals providing aeronautical services to the public. Therefore, the method of notifying potential lessees of the availability of hangar space is not within the purview of the FAA assurances. It is however, the responsibility of the City to have in place procedures to be followed when opportunities such as this arise. The City should formulate Minimum Standards to avoid perceived favoritism on the part of City officials
The City's lease terms for the new hangar only allow storage of "certified and/or registered aircraft" resulting in unjust discrimination against certified and/or unregistered homebuilt and ultra-light aircraft. Assurance No. 22.a. Economic Nondiscrimination state in part:
"It will make the airport available as an airport for public use on reasonable terns and without unjust discrimination to all types, kinds and classes of aeronautical activities... ..."
As written, the lease limits certain types of aircraft from leasing hangar space owned by the City. If there are safety concerns by the City, the lease must be specific as to what reasonable activities are not allowed by all types of users.
Language in the lease restricts certain maintenance activities in the City owned hangars. Assurance No. 22.f. Economic Nondiscrimination states:
"It will not exercise or grant any right or privilege which operates to prevent any person, firm, or corporation operating aircraft on the aiport from performing any services on its own aircraft with its own employees (including, but not limited to maintenance, repair, and fueling) that it may choose to perform. "
As stated in the grant assurance, aircraft owners are allowed to perform maintenance on their aircraft. The term "minor maintenance" in the lease is vague and could be considered a violation of the grant assurances. As in the case above, the City must specify exactly what safe and reasonable maintenance is allowed in the City's hangars.
The City must action to revise all current and future lease agreements to reflect the comments above. Please provide a copy of the proposed changes to this office for review prior to execution and implementation. We expect that the leases be amended with sixty (60) days of this letter.
The FAA strongly suggests that you develop Minimum Standards to avoid any future complaints.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Donna Witte at 781 -238-7624.
Laverne F. Reid
Manager, Airports Division
cc: Mr. Brian Meyette
Mr. Jack Ferns, NHDOT
Chief Peter Chase
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