The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.
Signature Flight Support Exits John Wayne Airport
Signature Will Continue Legal Challenges to Orange County Board of Supervisors’ Award of Airport Leases
John Wayne Airport Customers Need to Keep Eye on Aviation Safety and Financial Viability
Signature Flight Support (Signature) today announced that as a result of actions by Orange County Board of Supervisors to terminate Signature’s lease to provide private aviation services, it was vacating the leasehold. Signature is taking this action in order to ensure continuity of services to its customers, which could be harmed by an interruption. Signature has been implementing a coordinated transition over the last several weeks. However, Signature is continuing to pursue redress based on lawsuits it filed with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Orange County Superior Court.
“Signature vehemently disagrees with the actions by the Orange County Board of Supervisors to replace us with an underqualified but politically connected bidder as a provider of private aviation services at John Wayne Airport and we are continuing to pursue the reversal of the Board’s 4 to 1 actions in the appropriate legal venues,” said Geoff Heck, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Signature Flight Support. “Nonetheless, the interests of our loyal customers are best-served by vacating the premises now and ensuring that they will continue to have access to the airport as part of an orderly and cooperative transition.”
On March 29, 2017, Signature filed a petition for writ of mandate in the Orange County Superior Court asking the court to reverse the illegal and unwise actions taken by the Orange County Board of Supervisors to replace Signature with ACI Jet, Inc. In taking these actions, the Board of Supervisors used improper criteria (the desire to award one of the two available leases to a “local,” as opposed to national operator), a violation of federal laws regarding equal protection for all applicants.
The Superior Court writ of mandate is a separate legal challenge to the lease awards, following Signature’s earlier complaint filed with the Federal Aviation Administration under Part 16 of federal aviation regulations. Both lawsuits detail the Board’s improper disregard for its own competitive bidding process to award one of the leases to a politically connected local bidder.
“Signature continues to have concerns about ACI’s ability to safely operate at John Wayne,” noted Heck. “We’ve previously pointed out that the largest airport that ACI Jet operates out of is San Luis Obispo, with only 11 daily commercial departures versus John Wayne’s 126 daily departures.”
“We also encouraged the Board of Supervisors to consider whether ACI Jet has the necessary financial strength to run a large FBO like John Wayne,” continued Heck. “ACI Jet was not able to present basic audited financials with its Statement of Qualifications, one of the many serious violations of that process.”
While Signature Flight Support is departing John Wayne Airport, its customers have numerous nearby options, with fixed-base operations at Long Beach, Los Angeles International, San Diego, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, Van Nuys, and Thermal airports. Signature will work with its customers to achieve an orderly transition as necessary and appropriate.
David Herbst: 213-973-4113 x101 Coby King: 310-489-3280
Signature Flight Support Corporate Contact:
Patrick D. Sniffen
+1 321 276 7232 or +1 407 206 5212
Signature Flight Support, a BBA Aviation plc company, is the world’s largest fixed-base operation (FBO) and distribution network for business aviation services. Signature services include fueling, hangar and office rentals, ground handling, maintenance and a wide range of crew and passenger amenities at strategic domestic and international locations. Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, Signature currently operates at more than 200 locations in the United States, Canada, Caribbean, Europe, South America, Africa and Asia. For more information, please visit: www.signatureflight.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/signatureflightsupport. Follow Signature Flight Support on Twitter: SignatureFBO
BBA Aviation plc is a leading global aviation support and aftermarket services provider with market leading businesses and attractive growth opportunities. BBA Aviation’s Flight Support businesses (Signature Flight Support and ASIG) are focused on refueling and ground handling of business and commercial aviation aircraft. Its Aftermarket Services businesses (Dallas Airmotive, H+S Aviation, International Turbine Service, Barrett Turbine Engine Company, International Governor Services and Ontic) are focused on the repair and overhaul of jet engines and the service of aerospace sub-systems and components. For more information, please visit www.bbaaviation.com.
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