By Lyra Bordelon
The Greenbrier County Airport Authority (GCAA) held it’s regular meeting at the airport on Tuesday, August 18, with an option to login to listen remotely. Although the meeting proved difficult to hear, the board noted the completion of a response to a complaint submitted to the FAA by it’s former director, an acknowledgment of the airport crew for handing the vice presidential visit well, the future of Landings Restaurant, and more.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a letter to the Greenbrier Valley Airport and Greenbrier County Airport Authority (GCAA) on May 12 after receiving complaints from former Airport Director Stephen Snyder about airport proceedings. The FAA stated in part, “Mr. Snyder alleges that the Greenbrier Valley Airport Authority, sponsor of the Greenbrier Valley Airport (the airport), is in violation of their Federal Grant Obligations as it relates to operations of the Airport.”
In response to a FOIA request from the Mountain Messenger, the airport board explained “it is still the GCAA’s understanding that the Part 13 complaint is still under investigation by the FAA. As this [is] an investigation, the GCAA is taking the necessary steps to determine whether the documents requested can be produced and not be in violation of the FAA’s investigation and/or other rules and regulations. Additionally, the GCAA is taking the necessary steps to determine whether the documents can be produced via FOIA. Accordingly, if permitted, the GCAA is willing to fulfill your request for productions subject to any FOIA exceptions.”
In the Tuesday, meeting, Phillips noted “we have completed our response on schedule and it is currently and is currently pending at the FAA with the executive staff.”
The meeting, held over Zoom and teleconference, proved difficult to hear for those joining remotely due, with only one microphone working. Phillips resummarized several of the major agenda items and issues twice upon hearing the sound wasn’t working correctly.
“I apologize for any issues as it relates to the sound – I’m going to briefly summarize,” said Phillips. Breaking down several of the items on the agenda, Phillips explained:
• A meeting to discuss the future of the Landings Restaurant and its staff is currently being planned, with individuals previously hired by large chains, such as Red Lobster, potentially coming in. Phillips explained “We are not looking at those chains to come in here, we were just looking at someone who had experience working for those chains. We are going to have a special session that will be called at a later date as it relates to Landings Restaurant with the board.”
• “We’ve closed out two FAA grants that have been open for a period of time. We finished that work, and submitted our papers, and received approval that those grants were closed.”
• “We’re on schedule with the budget as it relates to the construction work currently being done on the airfield and the access to the tower is creating a problem because of issues dealing with distancing and pandemic separation and contamination within the tower. We need to get in the tower to finish some of that construction work, it’s currently out and we’re working through those issues with FAA.”
• “Taxiway bravo has had an issue with a crack and we’re trying to assess what is going on in relation to that crack and determine whether it is a sinkhole or maybe separation of pavement and drainage issues. Once we make that determination, it may be part of the change order with our current contract.”
• “We’re waiting on new grants to be issued by FAA, we have not received word on those. Those are for fiscal year 2021.”
• “We’ve also received some positive comments on our staff in dealing with private aircraft coming into the FBO.”