Mixed Decision For Second AOPA FBO Pricing Complaint
The FAA ruled in favor of Key West International Airport on three of the four issues noted in a Part 13 complaint filed last August by AOPA that alleged that pricing practices and ramp access rules at the single FBO on the field violated the airport’s grant obligations. The agency found that airport sponsor Monroe County violated one of those obligations by not providing an area for aircraft owners to service their own aircraft but found no issues with the FBO’s pricing practices or control of transient parking. The decision also noted that current operations did not create a scenario where the FBO had exclusive rights to provide services at the airport.
“While the self-service aspect of the decision is a step in the right direction, it certainly does not solve the problem in terms of access and transparency,” said AOPA General Counsel Ken Mead in AOPA's response to the decision. “GA deserves a seat at the table, and the FAA needs to stop engaging in the fiction that monopoly-position FBOs equal a fair market.” The FAA's decision (PDF) said that the agency will address the self-service compliance issue directly with Monroe County.
AOPA filed a two additional Part 13 complaints against Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina and Waukegan National Airport in Illinois at the same time as the Key West complaint. All three airports have a single FBO on the field owned by Signature Flight Support. The complaint against Waukegan was withdrawn after the airport announced it would be providing free tiedown and ramp access for transient aircraft and the FAA rejected AOPA’s complaint against Asheville in its entirety last month.