Seattle FBOs Shun ICE Detention Flights

 - May 3, 2019, 12:01 PM

Following an April 23 executive order from Washington state’s King County executive Dow Constantine stating that Seattle King County International Airport/Boeing Field (BFI) "shall not support the transportation and deportation of immigration detainees in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)," Modern Aviation, one of three FBOs on the field, said it will no longer service immigration flights operated by Swift Air. The company is believed to be the only charter provider used by ICE at the airport. According to the county, ground personnel at BFI have observed immigrant detainees boarding Swift aircraft.

The other FBOs at BFI—Kenmore Aero Services and Signature Flight Support—also indicated they will not contract with Swift Air for immigration flights at BFI.

Constantine’s executive order added that all future leases, operating permits and other authorizations for commercial activity at the airport contain a prohibition against providing aeronautical or non-aeronautical services to enterprises engaged in the business of deporting immigration detainees, with the exception of federal government aircraft.

“I was heartened to learn that [FBOs] at our airport have decided to accommodate the values of the people of King County,” said Constantine. “We are a welcoming community that respects the rights of all people. We do not want to see our publicly-owned airport used for the wholesale deportation of immigrant detainees.”

Swift had yet to answer AIN's inquiries at press time.