Comments On Compensation
David Wartofsky, the enigmatic owner of Potomac Airfield, told AVweb the money proposed should cover the justifiable losses of the businesses but actually extracting it from the government could be an agonizing process. He said the bureaucrats charged with assessing and approving the claims may not have the skills and experience needed to accomplish the work, even though they are trying their best to do the right thing. "You've got dentists coming in to do brain surgery, with predictable results," he said. Wartofsky said the government is especially cautious because of the potential precedent being set in paying for the results of what some might consider questionable decisions. Wartofsky believes that when the checks are finally issued, they will come with strings attached. "What the federal government is fishing for is a waiver of liability on the part of the affected parties," he said. The DOT is applying a fairly liberal interpretation of the Congressional authority. The strict wording of the law says that compensation will be made for the period that airports were closed to GA traffic. All except the heliport were reopened under severe restrictions by early in 2002 but the limits on traffic were so stringent that the businesses "continued to sustain serious financial losses well past the dates that the airports were reopened for some resident based operations, and it seems inconsistent with the clear remedial purpose of [the Act] to restrict reimbursement only for losses incurred by these entities through February or March of 2002."