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Old 02-08-2021, 05:55 AM
rvanstory's Avatar
rvanstory rvanstory is offline
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: New Braunfels
Posts: 377
Default What to do about poor Airport Mgmnt

I am terribly frustrated with our local airport management and was hoping someone out there has advice on what (if anything) I can do about it. First the backstory.....

When I started my build in Feb. 2017, I called the local airport to get on the T-hangar waitlist. From experience, I knew it would take a long time to get a T-hangar for the RV-10 I was building. When getting ready to attach the wings, I was told I was not yet eligible for a T-hangar. I was able to use a friends T-hangar to finish the build. During that time I met 2 pilots that had T-hangars at the airport that had waited MUCH less time than me to get one. One was on waitlist 6 months, the other 2 years (compared to my 3.5 years at the time).

Needless to say, I was FURIOUS! How did I get passed up when I so badly needed a hangar? How did these pilots get put in front of me for hangar space? When I confronted the airport manager his explanation was that the "list" was destroyed by an ex disgruntled employee. So, they really had no ideal who was on the list, or when. I found this to be a very suspicious excuse since I was never told I wasn't on the list, simply that it wasn't my turn yet. If the list got lost, why wouldn't this news of a destroyed list be shared with me during any of our previous communications???

However, the manager agreed that I was now, finally, "next on the list" and I would get the "next available hangar". Then, last week, I met another new pilot at the airport who just got his T-hanger after 3 years on the list (compared to my 4 years now). When I confronted the airport manager again, his excuse was some lie about this particular hangar space being wider than than the others and it was needed for the tenants wider wing-span. (I later measured the hangar, it was the same standard dimensions as all the other T-hangars, no wider at all.)

So, here's my question. Do I have any recourse or leverage? Other than more city staff, is there anyone that can help me? Does FAA have an avenue to hold airport management staff accountable for preferential treatment?

I'm caught between a rock and a hard spot. Raise h - - - with his boss (city manager), FAA, city council, etc... and possibly NEVER get a hangar. Or is there a way to hold airport staff accountable for their practice of giving hangars space to who they see fit?

Any help and/or advice would be appreciated!
Randy Vanstory
Flying RV10 - N783V
1st Flight 08/20/2020
Donation Happily Made 2021
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Old 02-08-2021, 07:15 AM
N40ES N40ES is offline
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Maryland Eastern Shore
Posts: 83
Default Public Property

My First thoughts are: If its Public Property then the "waiting list" should be public too. My second thought is all Municipal Airports should have a written Public Policy on handling of waiting lists kind of like "Sunlight Laws". This may not help you now but it just my 2 cents. My favorite way of handling these waiting lists is to make the hangars available first to Pilots on a Tie Down. and if no takers then to the General Public. In my area people drive over an hour past several airports to get to one with enclosed Hangars but this precludes the local Pilots from having access to hangar while their own planes wilt in the Tie Down. Third thought: They should require a substantial deposit to be on waiting list, then have more financial accountability for that money. .. Again, Just my 2 cents, Ed
RV10 Bought Not Built
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Old 02-08-2021, 07:42 AM
TX7A TX7A is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Abilene, TX
Posts: 731


Sorry to hear about your problem. Almost sounds like one of those 'good ol' boy' things is going on. AirNav says that KBAZ is publicly-owned and the airport manager is Robert Lee. As a tax-paying citizen, you might ask to see the current list since the old one was 'destroyed'. I'd almost guess that a written list doesn't exist. A visit to the city manager's office might be in store; and be able to supply dates of who said what.
Situations like this are tricky when dealing with the city. But it does sound like you got screwed around.
Sam Evans
RV7-A O-360 C/S
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Old 02-08-2021, 07:44 AM
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bjdecker bjdecker is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Georgetown, TX
Posts: 532

Job 1 - Secure a hangar somewhere else, Maybe Huber is an option?

Then I would make my displeasure known with a letter to the City Manager, City Attorney, Copy the FAA, Copy TxDOT.
Brian Decker
Retired Firmware Guy and Airplane Builder

2020 RV-14 QB -- Under construction - Tailcone & Empennage Complete.
2018 RV-7 QB -- Built, Flying
2007 RV-7 QB -- Built, Drowned, Resurrected and flying
1998 RV-8 QB -- Started, Sold
1986 Mooney 205SE
1980 Mooney 231

Aided and abetted building a number of other RV's.
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Old 02-08-2021, 07:51 AM
sailvi767 sailvi767 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 1,285

I would try and make all communication via email so you have a written record. You need to start with your representative on the city council. This might also make a interesting article for the local newspaper. A good old boy network might be in effect but I suspect money under the table might be driving who gets hangars.
RV-6 sold
F-1 Rocket
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Old 02-08-2021, 08:13 AM
Robin8er Robin8er is online now
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Socal
Posts: 494

Is it a municipal airport? You could talk to the city about it and possibly see about bringing it up at a meeting.
RV-8 N695RA flying
Working on an RV-4

Born to fly, forced to work
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Old 02-08-2021, 08:22 AM
meloosifah meloosifah is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Indiana
Posts: 254

Airports are a funny business these days. I grew up living at the airports. My dad was an A&P I/A and ran flight schools, maintenance shops, FBOs - we just basically lived at one airport or another. All small municipals. There was never discussion of traffic or funding.

Now that I am back flying, 25 years later, I sat in our local airport board meeting last month. The board is concerned, not with revenue from hangars or maintenance operations, but with FUEL sold, (unexpected to me) NUMBER of TO/LANDINGS and IFR operations. They are incentivized to have busy planes that use the tower and buy fuel. That is ALL that matters to them.

Listening to some of the tales of woe on here, I would guess that airport managers probably pick the ones who they feel will accomplish those 3 tasks. Try convincing them the you will be flying IFR, using their tower, and buying lots of fuel. Donít know if it would make a difference but I know I was surprised to hear those discussions by the board.
RV7a (converting to TW and then ready to install the engine and panel)

1946 Cessna 140 (currently flying)
1946 Piper J3 Cub (stripped for restoration)

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Old 02-08-2021, 08:38 AM
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1001001 1001001 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Just Minutes from KBVI!
Posts: 1,128

I'd suggest, as others have done above, making sure your communications are documented, preferably as e-mails. Follow up all calls/conversations with an e-mail. Call them frequently--once or twice a month. It's possible they don't really have a list and just listen to the squeaky wheels.

Start attending the board meetings--you don't have to say anything at first, just make sure the airport manager sees you there a few meetings in a row. Maybe try to get to know someone on the board, or strike up a conversation with board members before or after the meeting.

See if that speeds anything up. Keep taking good notes. If you get no satisfaction, and you can document other people getting hangars before you, then bring it up at the meeting. Some Boards require the public to inform them of questions for the agenda prior to the meetings--you may not have an opportunity to just stand up and ask a question, so make sure you follow their protocol.
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Old 02-08-2021, 08:39 AM
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N804RV N804RV is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mount Vernon, Wa
Posts: 710

There's an opening for an airport advocate on the airport advisory board. Here's your chance:
Ken W.
Mount Vernon, WA
2020 VAF Supporter
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Old 02-08-2021, 08:43 AM
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rocketbob rocketbob is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: 8I3
Posts: 3,669

I'm always surprised at how people don't know how stuff works in this country. The way you go about ensuring your interests at a public airport is to make a modest political donation to the elected official the airport manager works for, regardless of party. This usually means donating to both candidates in an election. I have friends at airports who do this every election cycle, so when it comes time to pull a string, there's a string available to get pulled.

Please don't PM me! Email only!

Bob Japundza CFI A&PIA
N9187P PA-24-260B Comanche, flying
N678X F1 Rocket, under const.
N244BJ RV-6 "victim of SNF tornado" 1200+ hrs, rebuilding
N8155F C150 flying
N7925P PA-24-250 Comanche, restoring
Not a thing I own is stock.
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