Judge suspends FBO services at Dulles Jet Center facility

 - April 30, 2010, 9:44 AM

Dulles Jet Center, the corporate hangar facility at Dulles International Airport in Sterling, Va., which suffered roof collapse due to a massive snowstorm on February 6, has been forced to curtail services that made the company appear to be an FBO. According to a U.S. District judge’s opinion last month, Landow Aviation Limited Partnership, which spent $37 million to build Dulles Jet Center (DJC) on 19
acres subleased from neighbor Signature Flight Support, was never permitted to service transient aircraft or otherwise act as an FBO. Signature testified that eight to 10 transient aircraft per day were using DJC in late 2008 and early 2009. DJC advertised itself as an FBO, according to the judge’s opinion, and even attempted to persuade the airport’s management that Signature was providing inadequate fuel service, in an attempt to secure fuel service for DJC.

In August 2008, the airport wrote, “Dulles Jet Center is primarily intended to be a corporate hangar facility, providing hangar space and services for corporations who base their jets at Dulles Jet Center.

…Landow should not be promoting Dulles Jet Center as an FBO for transient aircraft using Dulles Airport. Signature and Landmark Aviation are the only FBOs at Dulles Airport and it is the Authority’s intent that these FBOs handle the transient general aviation business at Dulles Airport.” The judge found in favor of Signature Flight Support and “entered a permanent injunction forcing Landow to comply with the sublease and cease and desist from acting as [an FBO] at Dulles and servicing the transient aircraft market.”

In interviews with AIN when Dulles Jet Center was opened in late 2006, Landow said that the facility was a “flight service center,” not an FBO. And while he acknowledged that the terms of the lease with Signature precluded Dulles Jet Center from offering fuel, he said then that “We do want to encourage transients.” Landow also claimed then that the facility cost $60 million to build, but AIN
has learned that he used this figure as a number with which to value the property and that the cost was considerably less than $60 million.