FAA: Freedom Air will appeal revocation


Freedom Air intends to appeal the Federal Aviation Administration’s planned revocation of its air carrier certificate, according to the FAA.

FAA public affairs officer Ian Gregor earlier said that Freedom Air had until April 22 to respond the proposed revocation.

However, Gregor told Saipan Tribune on Saturday that “[Freedom Air] indicated this week they intend to appeal.”

Last month, the FAA sent an “amended notice of proposed certificate action,” or NOPCA, reiterating their proposal to revoke Freedom Air’s air carrier certificate. This letter lists the ways in which Freedom Air has failed to comply with FAA regulations.

“Unless, within 15 days of the date of your receipt of this notice, we receive in writing your choice of alternatives provided and set forth on the enclosed form, an order revoking the air carrier certificate of Aviation Services [Freedom Air] will be issued,” the letter read.

The FAA gives five choices for alternatives for air carriers upon receiving a NOPCA.

The alternatives, among others, include surrender of the certificate, an informal conference, an answer in writing, or appeal.

An appeal stays the effectiveness of the order, according to the FAA. It would allow Freedom Air to proceed with the other alternatives set forth by the FAA.

If an appeal were made, a complaint will be filed with the National Transportation Safety Board. An administrative law judge will be appointed to decide the case.

At the hearing, FAA will present witnesses and other evidence. Freedom Air will also have this opportunity.

The FAA states they will have the burden of proof in the case.

The FAA first issued the notice last year on May 22, 2014. This amended letter’s most recent information appears to be from last December.

“Aviation Services vacated its principal base of operations on Dec. 31, 2014,” reads the FAA letter. A certificate holder must maintain a base of operations, according to FAA.

In its letter, FAA lists how Freedom Air has not had a director of operations or qualified chief pilot since January 2014. The airline also filed for bankruptcy on Sept. 27, 2013, the FAA notes. A Guam court dismissed this last year.

FAA notes that Freedom Air’s aircraft liability insurance was terminated on March 9, 2014. They also have “not held appropriate economic authority from the Department of Transportation” to operate as a direct air carrier since that time.

FAA found that the airline failed to turn in within 30 days its certification after operations ended, and as a certificate holder, have failed to retain qualified personnel.

FAA described another handful of violations that can be assumed de facto as operations and a base of operations have ceased.

Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at dennis_chan@saipantribune.com.

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