Agency Says It Will Not Investigate Any More Complaints
The efforts of an anti-aviation faction in the town of
Grant-Valkaria in east central Florida near Melbourne have been
pretty well documented. A small but vocal
group including some elected officials has been adamant in its
efforts to restrict legitimate aviation activity at the airport,
and have flooded the FAA with complaints.
Well, on August 10th, the FAA called a meeting of the
"interested parties", including the state Department of
Transportation, the mayor, and the loudest complainers to
say that enough was enough, and that the agency would not
investigate any future complaints about Valkaria Airport (X59).
A newsletter published by EAA chapter 1288 and forwarded to ANN
documents the meeting held with the FAA, airport representatives,
elected officials, the state DOT, and the anti-aviation activists.
It cites the investigation by the FAA of 36 complaints taking up
the time of 7 FAA inspectors amounting to 186 man-hours over nine
months. The result of all that time, effort, and money found
"(i)nvestigative conclusions did not result in violations at or
around the airport. Flight Standards Investigations were unable to
substantiate any of the complaints received during this time
The alleged "violations" that were called into the FAA included
such things as "a Valkaria plane chased me down the Interstate" and
"a plane doing dangerous aerobatics over homes" ... which turned
out to be an R/C model in a well-established model flying area. The
complainers reportedly resorted to doctored digital photographs to
try to prove their point.
The EAA chapter obtained documents through a Freedom of
Information Act request, including the PowerPoint presentation.
But the upshot is, the FAA is apparently done responding to what
the agency has determined to be bogus complaints about what seems
to be a fairly well-mannered and respectful aviation community at
X59. Those living on Ponderosa Road (including, we're informed, the
town's mayor and one member of the town council), where the bulk of
the complaints were centered, might have done well to go back and
re-read the fable of the boy who cried "wolf."