California’s Orange County board of supervisors this week approved the awarding of 35-year leases at John Wayne-Orange County Airport (SNA) to FBO operators ACI Jets and Clay Lacy Aviation. The board last month selected the two California-based companies to spearhead its new general aviation redevelopment plan, despite the airport’s RFP process awarding the highest score in the evaluation to incumbent Atlantic Aviation.
ACI, which replaced Signature Flight Support there in 2017, was unanimously approved by the supervisors. Meanwhile, Clay Lacy, which received a 3-2 vote in the initial selection phase, garnered the requisite 4-1 margin required for the lease approval after one board member relented and changed his vote in the interest of "moving forward."
Atlantic Aviation, which has serviced SNA for nearly two decades, is now operating there on a month-to-month lease, and CEO Lou Pepper told AIN that while his company disagrees with the decision, it is still maintaining a relationship with the airport as a tenant. He declined to comment on any possible legal options, stating “we’re going to try to do a very orderly transition if we have to do a transition, and we will be professional as always in taking care of our customers and fulfilling our obligations to the airport.”