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Sat, Jun 04, 2005

Showdown At Augusta

FAA Orders Maine Airport To Clean Up Its Act

How would you like to know that, even though you're paying rent on your leased space at the airport every month, the lease isn't binding and you could be bounced off the field at just about any time? Kinda stings, doesn't it?

The FAA says that's the situation at Maine's Augusta State Airport, where a three-month investigation found:

No binding leases in force for Colgan Air, Budget Rental Car, or Greyhound Bus Lines.

Personal furniture and other belongings stored in the snow removal building

An unscheduled April inspection "revealed the presence of two boats, a large freezer, a pickup truck with commercial plates and the personal household items still remaining," according to a letter from the FAA's Donna Witte.

"The personal property takes up two bays of the federally-funded building," the letter continued. "Two pieces of snow-removal equipment were parked outside the building." Not only that, but on a subsequent inspection more than a week later, there was a third boat in the snow removal building.

And, oh-by-the-way, the airport is up for recertification.

In that process, the FAA found Augusta needs to replace its inoperable rotating beacon, add an auxiliary windsock (lit for night operations), and replacement of a fence to keep animals off the runway.

The letter by the FAA's Witte to State Passenger Transportation Director Ronald L. Roy May 19th, apparently led to the abrupt resignation of Augusta State Airport Manager Robert McGee.

"Because it's a personnel matter, I can only say Bob voluntarily tendered his resignation for personal reasons," Augusta City Manager William Bridgeo told Maine Today. "I was very concerned when (Roy) shared the letter with me last week and began to take steps immediately to resolve the things in it."

FMI: www.faa.gov, www.ci.augusta.me.us/airport.html

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