Cumberland Times-News

January 14, 2014

Autosport group to attend authority meeting

Elaine Blaisdell
Cumberland Times-News

— WILEY FORD, W.Va. — At the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority meeting scheduled Thursday, John Felten, president of National Road Autosport, will be speak regarding the authority’s decision to decline the group’s request to hold autosports events at The Greater Cumberland Regional Airport.

Ryan Shaffer, airport manager, said earlier that the decision was made because of funding stipulations for airport improvement projects.

In September, the authority was awarded a $2.3 million Federal Aviation Administration grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for runway rehabilitation.

“The Federal Aviation Administration has made it clear that holding these autosport events at the airport contravenes funding criteria laid down by the FAA, and the airport is reliant on that funding for our long-needed expansion and upgrade projects,” said the authority in a statement. “In light of these facts, the board must regretfully decline to allow National Road Autosport to hold further events at the airport.”

National  Road Autosport was notified of the authority’s decision via a letter, which denied the group’s request to hold autosports events for weekends in May through October.

“We are looking into it and getting a legal interpretation of the FAA’s rules of operations at the airport. I think they are being misinterpreted on their part,” Felten has said. “We have operated there the last 11 seasons and we didn’t feel like we were in violation then or now.”

National Road Autosport vice president Greg Honeycutt and secretary Bill Herbaugh also will attend the authority’s meeting.

Other items on the agenda include a proposed hangar rent increase, manager’s evaluation tool and an update on a display for the PACE legislative reception in Annapolis.

The airport authority meeting will start at 6 p.m. in the Cohongaronta room at the airport terminal.  

Elaine Blaisdell can be reached at eblaisdell@times-news.com.