Cincinnati FBO protests city audit findings

 - October 8, 2007, 11:01 AM

Attorneys for Midwest Jet Center at Cincinnati Lunken Field (LUK) called a city audit “a gross error” when the financial investigation claimed the FBO should repay some $288,000 in fuel-flowage fees it charged other airport tenants. Aircraft operators are charged an airport fee of 12 cents per gallon for fuel from either of LUK’s two FBOs, Midwest and Million Air. According to their contracts, the FBOs are entitled to keep six cents per gallon for their role in collecting the airport fee. The audit cited Midwest for collecting fees from two airport tenants that operate their own fuel farms, but funnel their 12-cents-per-gallon payments to the airport through Midwest. The city audit claimed that Midwest was illegally keeping its share, though documentation dating back to at least 1998 shows that the FBO was within its contract rights to retain the money. Apparently unbeknownst to the current airport management, a previous airport manager had begun the practice to help support the FBOs on the airport. Midwest’s attorney said, “The whole reason for the arrangement is that FBOs provide all kinds of services at the airport, but we’re struggling to get by.” Representatives from Midwest also complained that airport management did not tell them about the audit until it had been completed.