Misunderstanding Means Shortfall

An apparent misunderstanding of the rules led a company to fail paying $107,000 to Tulsa International Airport.
The bill goes back to November 2000, the Tulsa Airport Authority and its financing arms were told last week.
The Tulsa-based company — Aircraft Fueling Systems, Inc., founded in 1994 — believed it neither had to pay a fuel flowage fee of 10 cents per gallon nor report the quantity of fuel it dispensed, said Carl Remus, deputy airports director for finance and administration.
Most of the company’s business is with airlines exempt by city ordinance if they pay landing fees for airliners. But it also served charter operators which do not have that exemption.
The back fees are owed for fuel sold charter operators.
Since the discrepancy has been determined, the company has agreed to remain current and make payments of $2,500 every two weeks until the amount in arrears has been paid.
Don Himelfarb, representing the mayor at the meeting last week, expressed a concern that the required reports went unnoticed for so long a period with the outstanding debt growing and no action.
Himelfarb, the city’s director of economic and real estate development, was told that it is believed the problem was unique to that company, which primarily fuels only airlines. Others selling fuel at both Tulsa International and Jones-Riverside Airports sell to non airline clients and provide other services as well. All are licensed by the airport to provide fueling services.
Approval was given by the authority to declare two airport fire-rescue trucks surplus and give them to other airports.
A 1,500-gallon unit bought in 1988 with grants from the Federal Aviation Administration will be given to Stennis International Airport in Mississippi, not far from New Orleans. It will replace a similar truck destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, Jeff Mulder, airports director, said.
The second truck — a 3,000 gallon unit acquired in 1984 — will be retained until sometime in 2008 when it will be given to Tulsa’s sister city in Mexico — San Luis Potosi.
Mulder said that truck is needed as a back up as two recently acquired 1,500-gallon units are sent sequentially to Dallas to be equipped with “Snozzle” gear, a remotely controlled arm that can penetrate a plane and pump fire suppressant materials inside.
Mulder said the transfers meet FAA guidelines which sets a 20-year life on fire-rescue trucks.
The authority was told that airlines boarded 105,515 passengers at Tulsa International during February, up from 103,027 in January, but down slightly from 105,731 in the previous February.
Shipments of mail and freight through Tulsa International during the month came to 4,629 tons compared with 4,652 tons a month earlier and 4,244 tons a year earlier.



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