City of San Antonio to offer Chick-fil-A lease in airport terminal following investigation

Chick-fil-A not allowed to be excluded for religious reasons

SAN ANTONIO, Texas- Following discussions with the City of San Antonio, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Monday that the San Antonio Airport will offer Chick-fil-A a lease opportunity for space in Terminal A of the airport.

In a letter to Attorney General Ken Paxton, the FAA explained that they opened an investigation regarding the complaint on May 24th, 2019 concerning the City of San Antonio’s compliance with the Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982 and the FAA Airport Improvement Program Grant Assurance 30.

“Those authorities prohibit FAA grant recipients from excluding individuals on the basis of creed, including religious creed, from participation in activities carried out with Federal grant funding, including airport programs. The City is a recipient of Federal financial assistance from the FAA for airport programs, including $8,245,147 in Federal Fiscal Year 2019 for SAT,” the letter reads.

According to a press release from Attorney General Paxton, on March 28, 2019, Attorney General Paxton requested Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation Elaine Chao to open an investigation into the city of San Antonio’s potential violation of federal law and Transportation Department regulations when the city banned Chick-fil-A from operating a restaurant in the San Antonio International Airport based on the company’s religious beliefs.

“This is a win for religious liberty in Texas and I strongly commend the FAA and the City of San Antonio for reaching this resolution. To exclude a respected vendor based on religious beliefs is the opposite of tolerance and is inconsistent with the Constitution, Texas law, and Texas values,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Our great state deeply values the First Amendment, and I will defend those rights for all who live and work in Texas.”

The letter from the FAA goes on to say that as of July 24, 2020, the City has agreed to take the following steps to address the allegations in your complaint:

  1. Within 45 days of this letter, CFA will be offered a lease opportunity for space in SAT Terminal A.
  2. The terms of the new offer will be reasonable and consistent with customary business practices.

The FAA says that they will continue to monitor the City of San Antonio’s implementation of the above steps to ensure that they are completed in a timely, reasonable, and fair manner.

Read a copy of the letter here.


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