Beacon reports on the FAA letter


This week's edition of the Tulsa Beacon (on sale at Steve's Sundries and QuikTrip locations, among other places) reports on the letter the Federal Aviation Administration sent to Tulsa Mayor Bill LaFortune:

The Federal Aviation Administration has sent a letter to Mayor Bill LaFortune asking him to answer charges concerning City Councilor Bill Christiansen and Jones-Riverside Airport.

The letter is a response to charges by Kent Faith of Roadhouse Aviation, a direct competitor with Christiansen Aviation. Those are the only two companies that supply fuel at Jones Airport.

The letter raises the issue of “economic discrimination and exclusive rights” for the Tulsa Airport Authority.

“I welcome this,” Christiansen said. “It’s time to clear the air. All these accusations have already been disproved in a lawsuit. There is no judgment against me. I want to get past this and get on with the business of the airport.”

Maybe I misunderstood: I thought the accusations were settled out of court, not disproved in court. And the FAA's questions concern the actions of the airport authority in matters that concern Councilor Christiansen's business, but the questions don't directly accuse or question the Councilor's actions, as far as I can tell. I don't see why he should be taking offense.

The three issues raised by the letter have to do with allocation of hangar space, lease rates, apron access, and enforcement of the airport sign policy.

If the Tulsa Airport Authority is engaged in economic discrimination or granting exclusive rights, it could jeopardize federal grant money for projects at both city-owned airports, not only Jones Riverside, but also Tulsa International.

The Mayor and his staff will be tempted to circle the wagons and obscure everything in a cloud of legalese, in hopes that any discriminatory practices will be left undiscovered or at least unprovable. If the Tulsa Airport Authority has been violating FAA rules, it would be better to confess now and correct the problem, rather than get caught after a denial.

You can read the whole Beacon story here on their website until next Wednesday, when it will be replaced by next week's top story.

(I wish the Beacon would set up a blog and use it to file back articles on their site, rather than clear the old articles away at the end of the week. With most of the Tulsa Whirled content limited to subscribers, if the Beacon put all its city reporting online, it could win the Google battle -- be the higher ranked site for information about various city officials and institutions. It would be simple -- use Blogger and have the files FTPed to

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 7, 2005 11:57 PM.

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