“The agency took these actions at this time because the airport did not respond to a request for revisions” to the draft environmental assessment, the FAA said in a statement.
Paulding airport director Terry Tibbitts said he just received the letter Thursday and is “still evaluating it.”
Peter Steenland, an attorney for residents who opposed the commercialization, called the FAA’s move “a big victory for open government, transparency, and the environment.”
“We are pleased that the Paulding Airport will remain a top-flite general aviation facility,” he said in a written statement.
However, it’s yet to be seen what happens next. A long-term lease between the Paulding County Airport Authority and Silver Comet Terminal Partners, the company seeking to attract airline service to Paulding, specifies that the airport authority must “use its best efforts” to get commercial certification.
The FAA says in the letter to Tibbitts that if the Paulding airport wishes to pursue the commercial certification, it should submit a new application with all required documentation, to be followed by an environmental review “based on the circumstances in effect at the time.”