Mon, Jun 14, 2004
Says Payment Would Have Violated FAA Rules
An electric utility in Ohio has
turned down an offer of $3,800 from the state for flying US Supreme
Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, saying the payment would
violate FAA regulations.
Rehnquist flew to Columbus May 15th to speak at the dedication
of the new Ohio Supreme Court building. Officials said security
issues and the Chief Justice's fragile health made a commercial
flight from Washington (DC) impractical. That's when American
Electric Power stepped in.
The utility flew Rehnquist to Columbus on its corporate
aircraft, a move that cost $3,800. The Ohio Supreme Court had
planned to pay for the flight. But American Electric, which is
being sued by environmental organizations and the EPA, which accuse
it of violating the Clean Air Act.
American Electric's lawyers recommended turning down the payment
because the FAA prohibits flights-for-pay by private aircraft not
certificated for commercial flight. Instead, the utility diverted
the payment to the American Red Cross as a donation.
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