Small FBO Chain Loses Lease at Pennsylvania Airport

 - October 5, 2013, 5:00 AM

Saker Aviation Services has lost its bid for a legal injunction preventing a rival FBO from taking over its former flagship facility at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport on September 1. The company has sued the airport board and the airport’s owners (Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties) on grounds of breach of contract, after they refused to allow Saker to exercise the first of two five-year option renewals on the site. Saker’s injunction request would have allowed it to remain in operation at the airport until the resolution of the case, which is still pending in Lackawanna County Court.

Saker acquired the FBO known then as Tech Aviation Services in 2006 and its inherited lease contains provisions for the extensions. After breaking off initial negotiations with Saker, the airport board issued an RFP and awarded a 15-year lease on the property to Aviation Technologies, a company that has primarily been a charter services provider at the airport but has ties to the FBO’s previous operator.

Neither side would comment on the situation. Saker operates an FBO at Garden City Regional Airport in Kansas and the Downtown Manhattan Heliport in New York City.