A bitter dispute that had been fought for more than three years reached its conclusion this week when it was announced that the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority will buy out the Tac Air FBO at the city’s Lovell Field Airport for $12.375 million. Tac Air had protested the authority’s decision to build another FBO at the airport, citing a lack of business to support two FBOs.
The authority at the time countered that the new multimillion-dollar FBO–currently operated by Wilson Air–was necessary to foster competitive fuel pricing at the airport. Tac Air filed a Part 16 complaint with the FAA, claiming the airport-subsidized facility was unfairly competing with its own, in violation of the agency’s improvement federal grant policy, but after more than a year of deliberation the FAA ruled in October that the airport authority had not run afoul of its grant obligations.
“The combined operations on the east and west sides of the airfield will allow us to keep costs low while investing revenue back into the airport,” said Terry Hart, president and CEO of the airport authority.