The San Diego Superior Court in California recently ruled that three airplane hangars purchased and occupied on leased space at San Diego Brown Field are “removable trade fixtures.” As such, the court found that the hangars are the sole property of the tenant, Finch Aerospace, which operates the California Flight Museum. Finch subleased the space for the hangars from FBO Lancair, which argued that its master lease with the city gave it control over its tenants’ hangars. Therefore, it prevented Finch from selling or moving the hangars, a situation that led to the lawsuit.
Real property law
The Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA) launched an escrow facility to provide a secure deposit for funds being paid in advance by customers for air charters worldwide. “Clients may be asked to pay a substantial deposit to secure a charter flight but there is little protection if one of the other parties–the broker, the agent or the aircraft operator–goes out of business before the flight takes place,” said BACA chairman Dick Gilbert. “The escrow account allows BACA brokers to offer their clients safeguarded advance payments for charter flights or programs.”
Elliott Aviation of Moline, Ill., is waiting for the outcome of a vote on Illinois House Bill 4110 before making an expansion decision. It would grant tax-exempt status on two parcels of ground the MRO leases on Quad-City International Airport, as well as exemption from future property taxes on new improvements. The company released a statement saying it would evaluate other areas of the country for expansion if the bill failed to pass.
Advocacy efforts by NBAA members, the Connecticut Legislative Aviation Caucus and the Connecticut Business Aviation Group to fight a personal property tax on all aircraft based in the state were successful. On Tuesday night, the House and Senate in Connecticut passed a budget that does not contain “the potentially devastating tax increases for aviation that were proposed in earlier versions,” NBAA said.
Members of the Florida Aviation Trades Association learned recently that the Third District Court (Miami) has issued a ruling that will significantly affect the recourse available to the maintenance industry when faced with a non-paying customer.
Previously, a repair facility could put a lien on the aircraft when it perceived the customer would not pay the bill regardless of who was in possession of the aircraft.
Business aircraft owners who want to move up have the option to engage in a “like-kind exchange” that could save thousands of dollars in capital gains taxes, according to Tonya Fritts, vice president and relationship manager for North Carolina-based Wachovia Exchange Services (Booth No. 3769).
They say that turnabout is fair play, and that’s evidently what a proactive North Carolina tobacco grower thought he was doing when he sued a local high school over its use of a helicopter to place an air conditioner on its rooftop. This, after he had been refused permission to operate a helicopter from his own land without a permit.