Thursday, August 11, 2016

Was the fight over the aiport all for nothing?

It appears the state takeover of Jackson's airports may not be a done deal.  The Federal Aviation Administration clarified its policy on disputed ownership changes in the June 6 edition of the Federal Register. The FAA made it clear that it prefers to approve such transitions when all parties have agreed to the change.  However, such is not the case when the Governor signed SB #2162.  The FAA said it will not approve such ownership changes until the dispute is settled.   The FAA states in the Federal Register:

Summary: This document clarifies the FAA's legal authority and policy for addressing disputed changes of sponsorship at federally obligated, publicly owned airports. This document also explains the requirements for state or local government entities to coordinate with the FAA when contemplating actions that may impact an airport's ownership, sponsorship, governance, or operations....

While state or local legislative action, or a judicial action, as the case may be, may seek to change an airport's ownership, sponsorship, governance, or operations, only the FAA has the authority to determine sponsor eligibility, approve and formally change airport sponsorship, and approve and issue a new Airport Operating Certificate pursuant to 14 CFR part 139. The FAA has a statutory obligation to ensure that an airport sponsor/operator is capable of assuming all grant assurances, safety compliance, and other Federal obligations, and has the expertise to operate the airport. Specifically, an airport sponsor/operator must meet the requirements set out in title 49 U.S.C. 44706, as implemented by 14 CFR part 139, for obtaining an Airport Operating Certificate, (if applicable) or in 49 U.S.C. 47102, as implemented by FAA Order 5100.38D (which includes provisions governing sponsor eligibility for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding) and/or 14 CFR part 158 (which governs the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) program pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 40117).

The FAA's obligation extends to reviewing sponsor/operator eligibility when state and local governments propose a change in the airport governance structure to ensure that there is no ambiguity regarding responsibility for Federal obligations and that any proposed changes will not impact compliance with Federal law. (In the event of a local or state dispute regarding sponsorship/operation of the airport, the FAA will apply the policy set out in Section IV below.) If any proposed changes give rise to such concerns by the FAA, the agency will work with state and/or local government(s) to resolve the concerns or, if the concerns cannot be addressed, deny the request.....

Any state or local legislative body or public agency considering whether to take an action, such as drafting legislation, that would impact airport ownership, sponsorship, governance, or operations should (1) consult with and obtain the consent of the current sponsor/operator (absent extraordinary circumstances, such as substantial evidence of mismanagement on the part of the current sponsor/operator);  [2] and (2) request technical assistance from the FAA about the interrelationship between Federal and state or local requirements, and seek the FAA's review and comment as early in the deliberative process as is practicable. A failure to consult may cause FAA to deny a proposed change to airport sponsorship and/or operating authority. In all cases, final decisions regarding the proposed change will be made by FAA's Office of Airport Compliance and Management Analysis.... (it would appear that such consent was not obtained.)

The determination of whether to seek a new applicant for airport sponsorship is a state or local decision. The FAA expects that all disputes about whether to change airport sponsorship and/or operating authority will be resolved through a legally-binding agreement between the parties involved in the dispute or a final, non-reviewable legal decision. While parties should seek technical assistance from the FAA as early as practicable, parties are encouraged to wait until a dispute has been resolved before submitting an application to the FAA seeking the agency's approval of a change in sponsorship of, and/or operational responsibility for, an airport. In matters in which a proposed change is contested by a current sponsor or operator, the FAA will not act on a part 139 application or a change of airport sponsorship and/or operating authority until the dispute is definitively resolved to the satisfaction of the FAA. Resolution may be demonstrated by issuance of a final, non-reviewable judicial decision requiring such a change, by the issuance of a consent letter between the existing airport sponsor and/or operator and the proposed new sponsor and/or operator, or by other legally definitive means deemed acceptable to the FAA.

The FAA will accept an application for a change in airport sponsorship/operation only upon a legally definitive resolution of a dispute. At that time, the FAA will evaluate whether an application is complete and whether the proposed airport sponsor/operator is capable of assuming all grant assurances, safety compliance, and other Federal obligations, and has the expertise to operate the airport as required by law.
That is the actual policy (which was not provided by the media).  JMAA and Reverend Jeffery Stallworth asked a federal court to block the state takeover of the airport.  However, the FAA may approve the change if the courts rule in favor of the state.   Then there is the timing of the posting of the FAA policy.  One may be forgiven for thinking it is no coincidence that the FAA issued this policy within sixty days after Governor Phil Bryant signed SB #2162.  JMAA petitioned the FAA to deny any requests to transfer the FAA certificate to any new governing body's for the airport.

Kingfish note: It will be sad, infuriating, and ironic if all of the fighting caused by SB #2162 was moot because the FAA controls the final decision on airport ownership.  The creation of much bad blood could have been avoided.  Of course, there is the slim possibility that the FAA will approve the change anyway.  It might depend on how much the FAA likes its appropriations.  JMAA might not have thought of that possibility.  There is also the chance that Jackson loses the lawsuit.  The FAA said it can rule in favor of SB #2162 if it holds up in court.  Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Regarding "appropriations", Cochran owes more to Jackson residents than to Rankin Tea Partiers. FAA never will go for this. This waste of time and resources should make the list of one of the money savings task forces. Idiots.

John Dough said...

The aiport?

Anonymous said...

The State can simply enact a statute stating only Regional Airport authorities can operate International Airports in the State of Mississippi. Then, it's over anyway. .... The State as the creator gets to say what authority any county, municipality or instrumentality thereof can and cannot do

Anonymous said...

I look for the "or by other legally definitive means deemed acceptable to the FAA" to be the solution of choice. The idiots cant keep the lights on for goodness sakes. And if the FAA wants an appearance by the Appropriations Chair Sen Heard, I am sure that can be arranged.

Anonymous said...

Whew! For a little while I was afraid the great state of Mississippi was going to do something progressive.It looks like that has been averted.

Anonymous said...

The Jackson Airports ( notice the plural) were some of the worst run airports around. The previous head was horrible. Lost revenue by his actions and has a political appointed board that knew nothing about aviation. Evers airport has run off many private airplanes and there has been no hangars built in 40 years at Hawkins Field. Where tyhere were three FBO's at Hawkins now there is one. Impossible to put another at Evers because of the rules. Airlines have left even though their flights were nearly always full. Why? We will never know! The parking free time was cut from 30 minutes to 12. Efectively giving no one time to do anything! Evers is a hostile airport to use. It needs to be put under a regional management and get rid of Tony Yarbor's pay for play appointees.

Anonymous said...

This is simple. The State should buy the airport out right. Jackson needs money, so work a deal that Jackson will get State funds to help with infrastructure problems in exchange for giving up the airport. Win-Win for both. But "politicians" think they can always get their way. It is complete incompetence that the bill made it all the way without somebody asking if FAA would approve. Shows what idiots we have in that big building (both sides of the isle).

Kingfish said...

Exactly. State should buy the airport. Who would think some Republicans want something for nothing?

Anonymous said...

If the city sold the airport, it would provide more funds to hire some more consultants.

Anonymous said...

People that actually fly will tell you we have a great airport for a town our size. Have you seen the airports in Baton Rouge, Mobile or Shreveport? We are far better. Comparing our route list to New Orleans is ridiculous

Anonymous said...

12:16 and Kingfish,
from what I have heard the state has put more money in the airport than the city? If not can you provide me with a number that the city has funded the airport? Also what price would you put on it and what are you buying. Right now it does not look like much.

Anonymous said...

KF, your post is ironic. Lots of bluster for nothing in its own right. You apparently did not notice that the effectiveness of SB2162is expressly made contingent upon approval of the "change in ownership" by the FAA. In other words, the legislature was fully aware of, and directly addressed, this "issue" that you "discovered."

Anonymous said...

2:34 The state has put zero dollars into the airport. None at all. Great false narrative, though. Keep playing.

Anonymous said...

2:34. The state has put zero dollars into the airport, unless you count the 'pass thru' dollars that come from the feds, thru MDOT, for the airport. These are not state dollars, but the folks wanting to steal the airport from Jackson have been counting them.

The 'other' state money is the PERS match for the City of Jackson employees that work at the airport. Hard to count that match as state money, but Harkins used it in his example during the argument to pass his bill.

The reason for this takeover is the real estate surrounding the airport - which has real value to it now that it has been opened up with the new road on the NE side. Anyone who says the airport has little or no value has no idea what you are talking about. It is one of the few money makers of the City of Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the few folks in the legislature that pay any attention were well aware of the little 'glitch' called the FAA. Senator Harkins told everyone that it had been 'taken care of' - which anybody that has any sense knew could not be true. Many comments on JJ, and in the media, that this takeover by the Repubs in the legislature would not survive, but would make many lawyers rich over the next decade.

Anybody that really believed that this bill would accomplish anything had their head in the sand - obviously not an unusual condition during the past legislative session.

AND, anybody that believed that the takeover - if it ever actually occurred - would change anything at the airport (airlines serving JAN, parking; baggage handling; courtesy of airline employees; ---- anything) was a real fool. All the things people want to bitch about at the airport are found in every other airport for a city our size, and are not things that are controlled by the Board of Directors of the airport.

But keep dreaming - Santa might even bring you a pony this Christmas, even after all these years.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, you don't understand "consultants". Every county, every municipality, and every company hires consultants or they do the design "in-house". Very few locations in Mississippi have the money to have a variety of professionals on staff full-time. Granted, some consultants, just like some attorneys, are not worth the fees they charge. Others are your hard working friends and neighbors and give really good service for the money they are paid. To me, it is just like your household paying for dental work by a dentist. You certainly do not want or need one fulltime, but when you do, he offers his services for a fee.

Anonymous said...

Didn't the late mayor of Jackson Chokwe Lumumba (Farrakhan lite) throw out the airport board members and replace them with people of his ilk who held no other relevant qualifications?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to hear a figure of what y'all think the airport is worth.

Anonymous said...

"I'd like to hear a figure of what y'all think the airport is worth."

'Pends on whether you sellin' or buyin'.

Anonymous said...

Do the people of the state want the airport to look like the city streets in Jackson? If so then just leave them alone and soon the planes will have to dodge pot holes to land and take off.

Anonymous said...

This was nothing but a power grab by state officials. controlling the development so that they would get the benefits, contributions by developers, was one major reason. plus, they want to appoint the consultants, attorneys etc.

if state officials were really concerned about operations, then why not take over the sewer plant?

Anonymous said...

What the hell does the sewer plant have to do with the airport? Shouldn't the people filling up the sewer plant be the people who takes care of it?

Anonymous said...

I love how 10:47 and other idiots say this is a "State Takeover". Please explain what that means. Nobody from the state will be running the airport. The counties have two pics. the City has two pics, the National Guard has a rep, MDA has a rep and the Gov and Lt Gov have three total. Carl Newman runs the damn airport and will continue to. How does the state run any of this shit? That is such a tired and lame cop out.

Anonymous said...

@1:49 - the sewer treatment plant is run and controlled by the City of Jackson. Over the past several years, it has been found to be run improperly by governing authorities - DEQ, EPA, etc. It has not disposed of the sludge accumulated over the past decade.

And - the sewage going into the plant comes from parts of Rankin County, Madison County, and Jackson. So - the people filling it up includes several locales. People in these areas don't have a choice on where they decide to deposit their waste - or where it is treated. The effulant from the plant affects many communities from I-20 south, down the Pearl River.

The airport, on the other hand, serves those that choose to use it. You can fly or you can drive or you can take the bus. If you choose to fly, you can use this regional airport, or the one in Meridian, or the one in the Golden Triangle, or you can go to NOLA or Memphis. How it is run does not affect other people like the treatment plant does. And, BTW, it is being run very effectively when compared to other airports serving similar population areas.

So - the state taking over the treatment plant is not only a reasonable concept but one that should be done for the health and quality of life of probably 25% of the state. But there is no money or power to be gained from such a takeover.

The airport, on the other hand, has no arguable reason for a state takeover (and yes, 4:00, it is absolutely a state takeover when the ownership of the property is taken from the city and put into a board that the city does not appoint) other than there is money to be made from developing the unused land. Follow the money, and you will see why the airport is being confiscated by the state and not the regional treatment plant.

Anonymous said...

If the people in Jackson took care of their outhouses like they should there wouldn't be a problem with the sewer plant.

2016 Hottest Reporter Poll

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Who is the hottest reporter?


Who is the Hottest Reporter in Jackson?

Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS