FAA writes letter to Harlingen Airport board

An intense meeting Wednesday night unfolded inside the Harlingen City Council Chambers.

One of the topics whether to allow a second fixed based operator at the Valley International Airport in Harlingen.

An FBO is a commercial business that operates in the airport and sells aviation services such as fueling, aircraft rental and flight instruction.

Concerned citizen Shane Allen tells Action 4 News he's all about moving Harlingen forward.

Allen says he is in favor of another fuel based operation doing business at the airport.

In this particular case it would be Sun Valley Aviation.

"When you start a monopoly at any type of facility your just asking for trouble you don't want one bank, you don't want one restaurant one of anything you want that competition", said Allen.

"So the consumer is going to get what is best and it brings out the best in everybody when there is some type of completion", Allen goes onto say.

During Wednesday night's council meeting the commissioner's went into executive session when it came time for discussing an amendment to the Valley International Airport budget.

The amendment budge could possibly allow for Sun Valley to set up shop.

David Garza with Gulf Aviation, which is the sole fuel based operation company at the airport asked the council to table the matter until another date.

Garza told the council "I don't think it's appropriate to approve the budget amendment today."

Part of the issue is a letter the Federal Aviation Administration wrote to the director of the Valley International Airport, saying it's imperative for the City of Harlingen to continue negations with Sun Valley Aviation.

The letter states the city of Harlingen may not engage in tactics that would be viewed as granting exclusive right to the existing fuel based operating company.

Also adding, failure by the city to negotiate in good faith to reach an agreement could have serious implications to the City of Harlingen with regard to future airport improvement grant funding.

David Moran, a Dallas based attorney representing the City of Harlingen and Airport board agrees.

He addressed the council Wednesday night saying "It's a serious matter and you want to be in compliance with your promises to the FAA it's a serious concern."

No action was taken on this matter. Meanwhile a spokesperson for the Valley International Airport told us Wednesday afternoon," At this time the airport has no comment regarding the issue of a new fixed based operator at the airport".