In a text, Hart II said he settled his lawsuit with the airport commission and that “the airport commission did not dispute the claims I made.”
He said he will be donating the financial penalty imposed by the court against the airport commission to the Ohio Balloon Challenge to support the 2021 event.
For the past few years, the city and Start Skydiving have been embroiled in a dispute concerning issues with their hangar lease and most recently in May when the city moved the parachute landing zone. Since then Start Skydiving has made allegations against the city in its efforts to operate the airport. The dispute delayed the city’s efforts to complete the Airport’s Master Plan and Layout Plan because the parachute landing zone issue was not resolved.
Hart II said the new drop zone was unsafe and would not expose any skydivers to land in that area. He has also threatened to move the business to a new location.
City Manager Jim Palenick said he and Start Skydiving are working out the issues as the city completes its airport master plan and airport layout plan.
Part of the issue was the lack of a coordinated position and conflict between the FAA’s Flight Standards Office and Airport District Office which saw the controversy between the city and Start from different perspectives.
The FAA guidance announced a compromise Aug. 21 placing the landing zone in the same area that the city decided in May but allowed those with a “D” license or the very experienced skydiver, to land between their hangar and taxiway.