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Wyoming FBO manager admits protectionismWyoming FBO manager admits protectionism

In an interview with the Jackson Hole News and Guide, Matt Wright, the general manager of Jackson Hole Aviation, currently the sole fixed-base operator at Wyoming's Jackson Hole Airport, admitted protection of his business as the motive for opposing a second FBO at the location.

Photo by Chris Rose.

“I understand where the airport’s coming from, but obviously we’d like to protect our business,” said Wright. “We think that adding a second FBO creates serious safety issues. Maybe more importantly, there’s the increases in aircraft movement and the corresponding noise that it would create.”

The airport’s executive director disagreed with Wright and said, “We’re not anticipating this impacting the volume or numbers of aircraft coming and going from the airport. The quantity of aircraft that have interest in coming into Jackson is finite. ... They’re not going to turn it into a fuel stop.”

Earlier this year, AOPA launched a national inquiry into egregious pricing, and since then pilots have submitted almost 600 complaints. As part of that effort, pilots have sent a number of complaints about unreasonable charges at Jackson Hole Airport, and in May AOPA General Counsel Ken Mead sent a letter to the president of the airport board.

The letter highlighted FAA regulations barring implicitly or explicitly giving one FBO “exclusive right” at the airport and ensuring reasonable prices. The board subsequently voted to issue a request for proposals to establish a second FBO.

Mead thanked the board and said, “We’re glad to see this kind of oversight because without it pilots shouldn’t be surprised to see protectionism and high prices.”

Pilots are encouraged to continue sending AOPA reports of excessive and unfair pricing.

Joe Kildea

Joe Kildea

AOPA Director of Media Relations
AOPA Director of Media Relations Joe Kildea joined AOPA in 2015. He is a student pilot and his first solo flight was at AOPA’s home airport in Frederick, Maryland.
Topics: User Fees, Airport Advocacy

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