Following years of prodding by AOPA and the Queen City Airport Action Committee, the FAA has taken action to ensure the Allentown, Pennsylvania, airport remains a vibrant general aviation facility. On November 1, the FAA and the city entered into a "settlement agreement" transferring the airport from Allentown to the Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority (LNAA).
"The future of Queen City Airport is now secure," said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "LNAA is dedicated to maintaining a regional system of quality general aviation facilities."
The city of Allentown has tried on at least five occasions to close Queen City Airport.
But what ultimately caused the FAA to force the city to turn over the airport was "revenue diversion." Allentown was using airport property for non-aviation purposes, in violation of federal law. The abuse was so notorious that it was highlighted in a 1999 GAO report on the FAA's failure to enforce the regulations protecting airports. That report was prompted by AOPA. (See " GAO Agrees with AOPA: FAA fails to protect airports.")
"This agreement is an example of the FAA's new-found effort to protect GA airports," said Dunn. "It's also a great tribute to Queen City Airport Support Network volunteer Joyce Klahr who has worked tirelessly on this issue."
November 9, 2000