Following a dispute with Fayetteville, Ark. airport authority, Million Air quit operating the FBO at Fayetteville Executive/Drake Field Airport last month after eight years at the airport. “We’ve had to take a hard look at all of our locations and maybe rethink some of the markets that we’re in,” Million Air president and CEO Roger Woolsey told AIN, referring to the industry downturn of the past several years. “Fayetteville unfortunately happens to be one of them.”
According to Woolsey, Million Air had been in discussions with the city council over restructuring the terms of the lease (renewed in 2010), but in the end those discussions proved fruitless, and the city decided to take over management of the FBO itself, at a slightly lower staffing level.
“We appreciate all that Million Air has done for us…Million Air has been a good partner,” said Ray Boudreaux, the city’s director of aviation, noting that the company couldn’t meet the escalating terms of the lease. “They tried, it was just the economy got the worst of them.” Boudreaux said he has hired several former Million Air staffers to continue to run the FBO.
“It’s a combination of needing some concessions that the local airport [was] not willing to make and they believe that when they look at the progress that a branded chain FBO has made, they seem to think they can do the same or better themselves,” said Woolsey. “We wish them luck.”