Five Minute Call | Feb 01, 2019
DZO Wins Part 16 Appeal

USPA Staff

In December 2017, Luther Kurtz, DZO of the Phoenix Skydive Center, prevailed in his Federal Aviation Administration Part 16 formal complaint against the City of Casa Grande, Arizona. Kurtz alleged that the city’s denial of access to his skydiving business was discriminatory and thus violated the city’s FAA grant obligation to accommodate all types of aeronautical activities. In its determination, the FAA agreed. The city then appealed the determination, and on November 19, 2018, the FAA issued its Final Agency Decision. In a remarkable rebuke of the city’s appeal, the FAA Acting Associate Administrator for Airports upheld the agency’s determination, providing the DZO a win on all counts. The FAA also suspended the airport’s grant applications until the city submits a corrective action plan to allow skydiving on the airport and the FAA approves it. Aviation attorney Rick Durden and USPA Director of Government Relations Randy Ottinger collaborated with the DZO on the win, which reinforces the right of skydiving businesses to access airports that have received federal funds. The Director’s Determination and Final Agency Decision are available in the Part 16 Decision Database at faa.gov.

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