Mixed Decision For Second AOPA FBO Pricing Complaint

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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 The complaint against Waukegan was withdrawn after the airport announced it would be providing free tiedown and ramp access for transient aircraft and the FAA rejected AOPA’s complaint against Asheville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.

Comments (8)

What a bunch of socialist cry babies.. The AOPA wouldn't know a free market if it jumped up and bit them on the backside.. !!

Posted by: Tom O'Toole | July 7, 2018 10:18 PM    Report this comment

Mr O'Toole: your (and my) taxes pay for KEYW and guarantee public access, yet we can't land or park there there unless we pay a monopoly company arbitrary fees of their choosing.

It's no different than if the US government chose WalMart to install tollbooths on the US interstate system, for consumers to pay, charge whatever they feel like, and keep 100% of the profits.

That's called transfer of public money into private pockets. That's not socialism nor a free market.

Posted by: Steve Miller | July 7, 2018 11:03 PM    Report this comment

"for consumers to pay" should have been "force consumers to pay".

Posted by: Steve Miller | July 7, 2018 11:10 PM    Report this comment

Steve Miller.. There is nobody forcing anyone to land there and patronize that business.. Go to a different airport.. Don't buy gas or any of those services. Then that business, and others will change their practices.. GA is getting more and more scarce.. We have the power of choice.. We don't need a politically driven group of socialist telling any business how to be run.. That'll be the kiss of death for our beloved GA..!

Posted by: Tom O'Toole | July 8, 2018 7:09 AM    Report this comment

Mr O'Toole, I am not sure how you get a private, member funded advocacy group and turn it into a group of socialists hell bent on grounding our aircraft but as far as I am concerned AOPA is doing their job and pulling every lever they can to try and HELP GA.

Posted by: Nathan Vonada | July 9, 2018 8:23 AM    Report this comment

"There is nobody forcing anyone to land there and patronize that business.. "

How long would it last if I set up a private toll booth on the public road leading to your house? No one would force you to drive on the road, you could just "go to a different car port".

Posted by: Robert Ore | July 9, 2018 3:17 PM    Report this comment

Is this the same Tom O'Toole who went to Cleveland State?

Posted by: Jeff Lovejoy | July 10, 2018 11:47 AM    Report this comment

I really don't get your point of view, Mr. O'Toole. Of course no one is forcing me to land there, but seeing as how I (and you) are paying for it, it's seems unreasonable to require me to pay again for services I don't want or need.

If this were a private airport funded by private dollars, I'd totally agree with you. But it's not--it's a public use airport funded by public dollars which cannot be used by the public without paying a private monopoly.

Posted by: Steve Miller | July 10, 2018 2:59 PM    Report this comment

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