FAA Extends Airport Deadline for Seventh Time

By Keith E. Domke St. Clair Missourian Editor | Posted: Saturday, March 15, 2014 7:00 am
The Federal Aviation Administration recently granted itself a seventh extension to make a decision
regarding a complaint filed against the city relating to the St. Clair Regional Airport.
City officials received the notification late last week after the FAA’s sixth deadline came and went
with no word on March 3.

The latest extension, ordered by Randall S. Fiertz, FAA director of airport compliance and
management analysis, is worded exactly the same as the sixth extension, which was granted in early
February to March 3. The latest extension is to April 3.
“This matter is before the FAA based on the above-referenced complaint, filed in accordance with
FAA rules of practice for federally assisted airport enforcement proceedings,” the notice reads. “An
extension of time is necessary and appropriate for a fair and complete determination in this case.”
The Part 16 complaint was filed by airport tenant Jim DeVries of Pacific, who for years has been
battling and criticizing the city as it seeks to close the 80-acre facility located on the north side of
town. DeVries is one of only four tenants who rent hangar space at the airport. None of those tenants
live in St. Clair.

City officials remain frustrated with the FAA and its constant delay in making a decision on the
complaint.
In fact, when asked about this latest and seventh extension, City Administrator Rick Childers told The
Missourian that “I don’t think you’d be able to run any comments I might provide. You may quote me
on that.”
The city wants to close the facility and use the land for much-needed retail development along the
Interstate 44 corridor. Permission to close must be granted by the FAA because the city used federal
funds, as late as 2006, to make improvements to the airport.
DeVries filed his complaint in the spring of 2012.

The complaint, officially titled a “14 C.F.R. Part 16,” was sent to Federal Aviation Administration
personnel in May of that year. The complaint alleges “noncompliance by the city of St. Clair Regional
Airport, the sponsor of the airport, of its obligations under federal law applicable to the operation of
an airport.”
Closing the airport has been a priority of Ron Blum and his administration since he took office in
2007. According to the FAA, it won’t consider closing the airport until the Part 16 complaint is
resolved.

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