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Fri, Aug 17, 2012

FAA Delays Decision On Creswell, OR, Skydiving Issue

Operator Wants To Establish A Landing Zone At The Local Airport, City Says It's Not Safe

The FAA has kicked its decision as to whether to allow Eugene Skydivers to establish a landing zone at Hobby Field Airport (77S) in Creswell, OR, down the road at least another 120 days. In a letter dated August 3rd, Randall Fiertz, the FAA's director of Airport Compliance and Management Analysis, wrote "An extension of time is necessary and appropriate for a fair and complete determination in this case."

Not that plenty of time hasn't passed. The Creswell Chronicle reports that the City of Creswell and Eugene Skydivers have butted heads for years over the use of the airport by landing skydivers. The skydiving company's owner and operator Urban Moore filed an FAA part 16 complaint against the City of Creswell and the Creswell Hobby Field in December 2011. The complaint was filed to "restore landing rights for skydivers at the Creswell Airport."

The part 16 complaint stems from a 2006 disagreement over landing rights for skydivers at the Creswell Airport. The dispute affects where skydivers land their parachutes and reduced Eugene Skydivers business operation to tandem skydiving only. An alternate landing site, located near Seavey Loop Road in Eugene, is currently being used until this issue is resolved. If the FAA affirms the rights of skydivers to land on the airport then full operations is expected to resume later this year.

A ruling was expected to be announced this month, but the FAA now says it will come early in November. Moore said in a news release in June that the decision is expected to have national implications because it will set a precedent for cases involving airport access for skydiving activities on federally assisted airports.
 
The paper reports that in February, the city council voted to "vigorously defend" its self against the suit, and allocated up to $100,000 to hire a law firm to handle the case. It has already burned up that money, and the case remains unresolved.

FMI: www.ci.creswell.or.us, www.skydiveoregon.com

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