AOPA has asked the FAA for a 60-day extension to the comment period regarding a privatization proposal for New Orleans Lakefront Airport to provide more time to study the issue. AOPA asserted in a February 5 letter to the Department of Transportation that crucial documents were not available from the FAA, which delayed a thorough review. AOPA is concerned about the accuracy of portions of the information provided to the FAA in the application process.
The Orleans Levee District, which owns the airport, claims the field is losing money. The district has a proposal from American Airports Corporation, which already operates nine other general aviation airports, to operate the airport under a 50-year lease. "AOPA is always reviewing proposals of this type because they allow so much of the airport funds to be legally diverted from airport purposes," said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of airports. "AOPA strongly and successfully opposed privatization of Brown Field in San Diego about a year ago because planning for GA did not properly accommodate the needs of all pilots."