Fuel Fight Goes To FAA
In what can only be described as a last-ditch effort, a Naples, Fla., FBO is appealing to the FAA to grant it the right to sell fuel at the airport (and restore competition on the field). Whether the FAA feels like trying to overrule a court decision that stopped the fuel from flowing at Jet 1 Center Inc. could be another matter. Last December, a circuit court ruled that the Naples Airport Authority had the sole right to sell jet fuel and granted an injunction to lock up the pumps at Jet 1. It was the culmination of a years-long battle between Jet 1 owner J. Scott Phillips and the airport authority. Now, admitting his legal options don't look good, Phillips is asking the FAA to intervene, according to the Naples Daily News. Phillips claims that FAA rules prohibit the airport authority from having a monopoly on fuel sales. But lawyers for the airport authority say there's a specific FAA regulation that gives the authority exclusivity rights on the field. The rest of Phillips's business hinges on the FAA decision. The airport authority is trying to have Jet 1 evicted for breaching its lease agreement by selling fuel illegally. They also want an estimated $5 million in compensation for the business they claim was drained away from the airport. The airport relies on fuel sales for about 66 percent of its operating expenses.