The Woodward News


August 20, 2012

City issues response to FAA report


Woodward, Okla. — The Inspector references various deeds and leases concerning the airport property from agencies of the Federal Government to the City of Woodward dating to 1948. The Inspector also references various Releases from the Federal Government to the City concerning properties dated between 1970 and 1998. Following these releases, the released property was deeded to the Woodward Municipal Authority (WMA), a public trust. The Inspector has required that title to these properties be "returned to the airport." It should be recognized that these properties have always, since acquisition by the City, been titled in either the City or the WMA.

Moreover, West Woodward Airport (WWR) and its operations are ultimately under the oversight and ownership of the City. The City created, by ordinance, an Airport Authority Board, to assist the City in the operation of the City's Airport . The Airport Authority is not a separate legal entity and does not have any authority apart from the City. The role of the Airport Authority is currently that of an advisory board.

Concerning the titled ownership of the properties, the City contends that WMA is an appropriate entity in which title to these properties may be held. In 1968, the Woodward Municipal Authority was created pursuant to the authority granted in Title 60, Oklahoma Statutes, Section 176, et. seq. WMA is a public trust created for the benefit of the City of Woodward. Oklahoma state statute specifically provides a public trust may hold title to real estate. One of the stated purposes of the WMA is to perform, on behalf of its beneficiary, the City, the functions and powers as authorized by industrial development statutes. The express purpose of the released airport properties are for industrial development. Again, much the like the Airport itself, apart from the City, the WMA cannot exist. Title of property in a public trust is the legal equivalent of holding title in the name of the beneficiary. Therefore, the City asserts that no change in title of the airport properties is warranted and that title is now, and has always been, held by an appropriate entity.

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