A recent Community Opinion written by Fred Fourcher of SoCal Pilots Association and published in the Voice of OC made false and misleading claims about Atlantic Aviation. This comes as Orange County is looking to update the general aviation facilities at John Wayne Airport. Mr. Fourcher’s false and defamatory statements must not go unchecked and mandate a response by Atlantic.

As one of the nation’s leading and most trusted Fixed Based Operators (FBO), Atlantic provides general aviation services at 70 airports in the United States, including John Wayne Airport (SNA). In California alone, Atlantic provides world-class aviation services at ten airports including Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Burbank Airport (BUR), San Jose Airport (SJC) and others.

In his effort to support a particular company looking to develop a new facility at SNA, Mr. Fourcher made several false statements related to fuel prices at John Wayne Airport.

Mr. Fourcher claims that Atlantic “had been caught price fixing” and that the County “issued a stern rebuke” to Atlantic. Mr. Fourcher goes on to state that Atlantic was permitted to remain in their lease if “they ceased their unfair pricing practices.” These statements are completely false and defamatory.

Atlantic has never engaged in pricing fixing. Nor would it ever do so—period.

Atlantic has never engaged in unfair pricing practices. Nor would it ever do so—period.

Atlantic has never engaged in price gouging. Nor would it ever do so—period.

As with all of its locations, Atlantic’s fuel prices at John Wayne Airport are competitive and based on free market principles. Period.

It appears that Mr. Fourcher and SoCal Pilots are at best uninformed, and at worst intentionally making false claims in an effort to manipulate the award of new FBO contracts at SNA.

To determine which companies would be given an opportunity to build, operate and manage FBOs at two new SNA sites for the next 35 years, the Board of Supervisors developed and released a Request for Proposals (RFP), soliciting proposals from experienced FBOs like Atlantic. As part of the Board’s approval process, each of the proposals was scored by an independent review panel of aviation experts chosen by the County.

The scoring included experience, background in financing and developing FBOs, financial strength, quality of development, management experience and other factors designed to ensure the airport maintains its world-class reputation.

While Atlantic received the highest score of all the bidders for the Northwest site—a near- perfect 95 out of 100, we were not given an opportunity to negotiate with the County. Instead, by a vote of 3-2, the Board voted to enter into exclusive negotiations for the Northwest site with a lower ranked and much less experienced company, Clay Lacy, which scored only 78 out of 100.

Atlantic believes that the Board of Supervisors’ decisions related to the future of John Wayne Airport should be based on facts and made in public. That is why we submitted a request to the County last week asking that all the bidders’ proposals and qualifications be released, so that all members of the public, including Mr. Fourcher, will know the facts before any additional actions are taken.

Sue Sommers is Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing at Atlantic Aviation

Opinions expressed in community opinion pieces belong to the authors and not Voice of OC.

Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue or others please email opinions@voiceofoc.org.

For a different view on this issue, consider: 

Fourcher: David vs. Goliath at John Wayne – Good Government Prevails in Battle Over Jet Noise

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