US business aviation services provider PrivateSky Aviation is here at the show to warn the business aviation community about increasing use of tax-payer dollars to set up aviation companies to compete with private operations.

Vincent Wolanin, founder and chairman of Southwest Florida International airport-based PrivateSky, has first-hand experience of what he calls "bullying behaviour" having filed a lawsuit in August against its landlord Lee County Port Authority. Wolanin said the company received $40 million of government funding to develop a rival business aviation facility - including FBO and hangarage - at nearby Page Field airport.

"They got free money to compete in the same marketplace as a private company which is also its tenant. We have invested millions of dollars to set up and run our business [since 2000] without any government assistance," said Wolanin. "They don't have make a return on their investment so they can continually undercut us and they do. It's simply not fair."

Wolanin said it is time "to stand up to these guys and kick them in the ass" or these types of incidents will become commonplace.

Lee County Port Authority was unavailable for comment.

Source: Flight Daily News