Aero-Insanity #3: FAA To Grant-Valkaria Anti-Aviation NIMBYs: Stop Calling Us | Aero-News Network
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Sat, Aug 27, 2011

Aero-Insanity #3: FAA To Grant-Valkaria Anti-Aviation NIMBYs: Stop Calling Us

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 frame."

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."

FMI: www.faa.gov, www.eaa1288.org

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