AOPA Updates FBO Complaint Status


Two complaints about FBO pricing and practices that AOPA filed with the FAA last August have completed the “reply and response” phase and now will be studied by the FAA, AOPA said on Wednesday. The complaints address “egregious” fees and restricted airport access imposed by FBOs at Asheville Regional Airport, in North Carolina, and at Key West International Airport, in Florida. AOPA believes those airports and FBOs have failed to fulfill federal grant obligations to protect the airport for public use. Signature Flight Support, the sole FBO at both airports, and representatives of the airport operators have submitted responses to the FAA disputing AOPA’s complaints, AOPA said.

“To be clear, by and large, most FBOs and airports are treating users fairly, but there are also airports — around 40 and likely growing — where this is not the case,” said Ken Mead, AOPA general counsel. “Users have not invested almost $200 million in federal dollars at Key West and Asheville over the past 35 years to give up access.” AOPA had also filed a complaint in January against Waukegan National Airport, in Illinois, but later withdrew the complaint after airport management took steps to address pricing and access. Waukegan now offers alternative public-use ramp space for transients at no charge, allowing visitors to bypass the FBO if they do not need its services, AOPA said.