We wanted to provide an update on the April 16 Briscoe Citizens Review Committee not just because of the information provided by the FAA which confirmed if Briscoe Field is expanded, Gwinnett County government will have no ability to regulate operations, including approach patterns, holding patterns, number of daily flights, size of aircraft, or limit the hours of flight operations.
From our perspective as observers, the more important issue is that the committee is being denied access to information, companies and people who could provide information upon which a sound decision could be made.
The resolution chartering the Citizens’ committee indicated access to consultants would be allowed, in February the DOT staff identified Mike Boyd, a prominent aviation industry consultant, to give the committee an overview of the passenger aviation industry. Originally, Mr. Boyd was to address the committee via phone call. In mid-March the DOT staff informed the committee that due to scheduling conflicts Mr. Boyd could only respond to written questions, even though the committee members indicated they were willing to adjust meeting dates and times to fit Mr. Boyd’s schedule.
Yesterday the DOT staff attempted to skip over the scheduled input from Mike Boyd and guide the committee into some type of issue reconciliation process which would lead to a committee recommendation. When questioned by committee members the DOT staff indicated Mr. Boyd was biased on the subject.
When questioned the DOT staff said Mr. Boyd's independence was unclear because he has consulted for Delta Airlines in the past.
Fortunately, members of the committee held their ground pointing out that perhaps Mr. Boyd's prior engagement with Delta may be an indication of his qualification and that perhaps his opinion should be heard, and demanded the agreed upon information from Mr. Boyd be presented at the April 23 Committee meeting.
We can only surmise why the Citizens’ committee established to help bring “transparency to the process as well as provide useful information and recommendations during the potential privatization process” has been stifled. However we can state, without reservation, someone is attempting to control the information flow to the committee and to You the public.