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Thu, Dec 21, 2017

FAA Determines Chatham, MA Airport Safe For Skydiving

Town Leaders Hope Assessment Will End Legal Battles, Address Public Concerns

The FAA has released a report that concludes the Chatham, MA Municipal Airport (KCQX) is safe for skydiving, which may clear the way for a return to the activity at the airport.

The Cape Cod Times reports that the board of selectmen of the town are now hoping that the report will end legal battles associated with the issue, and give them the authority to advertise and select a skydiving vendor as directed by the FAA.

Board of Selectmen chair Cory Metters told the paper that the FAA has been "very patient" with the town during the lengthy process.

There are two lawsuits pending against the town in the matter. One was filed by the group Citizens for a Safe Chatham Airport which sought an end to skydiving at the airport, citing noise and safety concerns. A countersuit was filed by Skydive Cape Cod, which charged breach of contract when Town Manager Jill Goldsmith did not renew the company's lease in 2013, again citing safety concerns.

The board will meet in an executive session to discuss legislation after the first of the year. In a statement on the FAA report, Metters has requested that both sides withdraw their lawsuits.

Critics say the FAA report is a "whitewash" and wash not conducted properly, but in the statement, Metters said that the FAA has the "final authority" in making a determination as to whether the airport is safe for skydiving.

(Image from file)

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