MONROE, LA (01/27/20) “I feel like I’m being stifled” says David McGee. He is a veteran of the Airforce who now owns his own flight school within the Monroe Regional Airport. He has been trying to expand his business by becoming a fixed-based operator, which provides fueling, hangaring, aircraft parking, maintenance and rental. While his dream is about to take off, he says the city has been keeping him from doing so.
“We have leased some land that the lease still has not been perfected yet” says McGee.
Without this land, he can’t move forward with building. The plot of land is located within the airport, but is not near his hangar. He is concerned the city is monopolizing business, as neighboring private flight companies have been given the option to become FBO.
“We were even told that we could not be an FBO and that we could not sell fuel here. We were able to obtain the fuel permit but because we don’t have the fuel farm, we can’t sell the jet fuel and everything” he says.
McGee consulted with the Federal Aviation Administration and State Aviation Board to find out the legality of the situation.
“Because it is public use you cannot deny the right of anyone and prevent them from becoming a particular business or not. If the person desires, and they want to be an FBO then you can’t be stopped from that, that is what the FFA regulation says” he says.
Since then, the ball has started rolling somewhat, with another fuel form lease denied due to a no subletting clause, which has not been added to the city counsels docket of resolution.
He says this issue has been ongoing for the last year, and all he wants is answers from the city so that he can move forward with his business.
We reached out to the City of Monroe for comment. “From the city’s perspective, we have been actively working with Mr. McGee and his attorneys to iron out thee issues and we will continue to do so in good faith and good stewards of our obligations to our citizens” says Brandon Creekbaum, Assistant City Attorney for Monroe. We also tried to reach out to the FAA and State Aviation Board, but they have declined for comment at this time.
McGee says he has all of the proper documentation needed and will continue until a resolution is made.