Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Judge denies injunction sought by airport firm

August 22. 2013 4:00AM

By - smocarsky@civitasmedia.com

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SCRANTON — A judge on Wednesday denied a request from the fixed base operator at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport for an injunction preventing the Bi-County Airport Board from negotiating a contract with a competitor.
Saker Aviation, the current provider of ground-based services such as aircraft fueling, sued the board along with Luzerne and Lackawanna counties in July, claiming the airport breached its contract, which ends Aug. 31, by not allowing the company to match offers from other FBOs during two five-year contract extensions offered in the current contract.
In his denial order, Lackawanna County Senior Judge Peter J. O’Brien said Saker at a hearing on Aug. 14 did not show that an injunction would prevent immediate and irreparable harm that could not be adequately compensated by damages, noting that Saker is seeking unspecified monetary damages in the breach-of-contract lawsuit.
O’Brien also found that granting the injunction would substantially harm other parties involved, noting that Aviation Technologies — the company currently finalizing negotiations with the airport to take over as FBO — expended time and money preparing for taking over as FBO on Sept. 1 if a contract is approved.
O’Brien also found that an injunction “at this point would throw the airport into turmoil and create a major delay in incoming and outgoing flights.” Most important, O’Brien states, Saker’s right to relief is not clear, noting that contract language does not give Saker exclusive rights to continue as FBO if the company so desires.
The breach-of-contract lawsuit is still pending.

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