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Okaloosa to move forward with ‘corrective action plan’ with Timberview Helicopters following FAA ruling

On Tuesday, March 7, 2023, the Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners voted to submit a corrective action plan to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) following a recent ruling in favor […]

timberview-helicopters
Source: Angela Bartlett-Johnson via Facebook

On Tuesday, March 7, 2023, the Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners voted to submit a corrective action plan to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) following a recent ruling in favor of Timberview Helicopters.

In August 2021, the county terminated Timberview’s operating agreement at Destin Executive Airport citing concerns over the impact of helicopter operations on safety, tourism, quality of life, and military missions.

Timberview challenged the decision in a Part 16 Complaint with the FAA, and on February 21, 2023, the FAA ruled in the company’s favor on one claim of economic discrimination.

  • According to Grant Assurance 22, the airport sponsor must make the airport available for public use without unjust discrimination to all types of aeronautical activities, including commercial activities.

As a result of the ruling, Okaloosa County had to either appeal or submit a corrective action plan within 30 days, detailing how it plans to eliminate “unfair and unjust discrimination and revoke unreasonable access and flight restrictions on Timberview and other users.”

The corrective action plan was approved by the Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners during a Special Meeting on March 7, 2023, following an Executive Session. The plan must be submitted by March 23, 2023.

The county noted that the matter remains in active litigation, with further information to be released as legally permitted.

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