The investigation dismissed at least eight other Charges against the Airport.
CHEYENNE -- The Federal Aviation Administration has found that Cheyenne Regional Airport violated two and possibly three conditions for getting federal grants.
It also found that the airport did not violate the conditions raised in eight other allegations.
The violations are explained in a March 8 letter that the FAA sent to Cheyenne Mayor Rick Kaysen and Laramie County Commission Chairwoman Gay Woodhouse.
The FAA also sent a 24-page report of the results of its investigation.
The mayor and commission chairwoman received the letter because the city and county are co-sponsors of the airport. The letter requires airport officials to respond to the FAA in 60 days about how they will fix the problems.
The letter does not require the airport to pay back any grant money.
“There is no contemplation to require reimbursement of previous grant funds,” the FAA spokesman Mike Fergus wrote Friday in an email.
The FAA investigated the airport because of a complaint from Sky Harbor Air Services Inc., the former fixed-base operator. An FBO sells fuel and provides other aircraft services.
The FAA’s report focused on 11 allegations from Sky Harbor that said the airport violated terms of its federal grant obligations.
The investigation found two violations. The FAA said there is insufficient evidence to determine a third, which focuses on whether the airport has good title to the landing area as required by the grant.
The FAA found that the airport did not violate eight other allegations raised by Sky Harbor or violate “any remaining grant assurances” in the complaint, the report said.
FAA said that at least one allegation n about the airport not fixing leaks in the ceiling, broken pipes and other problems at the FBO office and not replacing a jet fuel filtern is outside FAA’s area.
“FAA takes allegations of grant assurance violations seriously, and we have therefore conducted a thorough review of the complaint,” compliance officer Joelle Briggs said in the letter.
The FAA investigation found:
Insufficient information as to whether the airport has the required good title to the landing area. The airport must provide a title search to the FAA.
The airport violated grant conditions when it mortgaged airport property in 2005 without required FAA approval.
The airport must ask FAA to approve the 2005 loan. It must give FAA a plan to modify or end the mortgage if the agency doesn’t approve it.
The federal agency wants confirmation that the grant could survive foreclosure.
The airport allowed other maintenance services beside Sky Harbor to provide aircraft maintenance in direct competition with the fixed-base operator.
The airport didn’t require the others to meet the same requirements as Sky Harbor, which is a violation, FAA ruled.
The airport must submit a plan to make sure anyone doing maintenance meets minimum standards.
Woodhouse said Thursday that the violations can be fixed. Steps are under way to do so, she added.
“It’s actually good news for the most part,” she said of the report. “My main concern when I heard about the letter is that there were economic sanctions and that isn’t even suggested.”
Dave Haring, director of aviation at Cheyenne Regional, said the FAA will work with the airport to comply.
The airport has done a lot of work on the title searches already, he said.
The mortgage involves a 2005 bond issue that consolidates the debt from several past projects at the airport into one loan. He wasn’t airport manager then, he said.
The evidence to show illegal maintenance operations comes from photos, he said. They aren’t definitive proof, he added.
“Obviously, anytime you have a concern about compliance, the airport takes it very seriously,” he said.
He said the FAA’s findings are more like housekeeping issues.
This is the second grant violation issue the airport is facing.
In October, the federal Economic Development Administration found that the city and the airport violated conditions of a $650,000 EDA grant.
The agency told the airport it would require repayment of the grant if issues weren’t resolved.
Haring said Friday that he hasn’t heard a final decision on those concerns.
An EDA spokeswoman at Washington, D.C., could not be reached Friday afternoon for more information.