OPA-LOCKA — Miami-Dade County aviation officials took another step in the complicated legal dance with Opa-Locka Flightline this week.
AA Acquisitions, the county’s leaseholding entity at Opa-locka Executive Airport, issued an order for the African-American owned fixed base operator to vacate the premises in 120 days.
This move follows hot on the heels of Flightline’s narrow victory over a 24-hour eviction notice served July 7.
On July 8, Judge Jerald Bagley of the 11th Judicial Circuit Court granted Flightline's request to review a lower court ruling, preventing the business from being forced out of its headquarters while a three-member panel evaluates the ruling.
The 120-day lease termination, received by Flightline on Wednesday, July 15, was dated July 9.
Flightline co-founder Ed Brown, calling the tactic “systematic chaos,” said the newest eviction attempt is “an insult to the judge’s ruling, and shows they have no respect for the law at all.”
The Miami-Dade Aviation Department did not immediately return calls about the eviction order on Wednesday.
Founded in 2004, Flightline provides jet fuel, concierge services, catering, ground transportation, hotel and dinner reservations, among other services, for private jet crews and passengers, according to its Web site.
IBM and Sears executives have utilized the company, as well as Bishop Eddie Long, Tom Joyner, Harrison Ford, Enrique Iglesias, Britney Spears and Lil’ Jon.
Initially, Flightline held a 5-year temporary lease, but sought a 30-year lease and 15 more acres on which to build more facilities, which would allow the company to grow. The county said Flightline would have to negotiate with AA Acquisitions, which in addition to managing smaller lease holders, itself holds a lease at the airport.
Both sides have accused the other of negotiating in bad faith.
Miami-Dade aviation officials contend that, besides withholding rent, Flightline has provided no certificate of use or environmental insurance, and has refused to cooperate in establishing lease terms.
However, Flightline partner and former Opa-Locka City Manager Tony Robinson said Miami-Dade Aviation Department officials know that Flighline has maintained the mandatory $5 million insurance coverage since January 2005, as outlined in the lease terms.
Flightline partners also contend that once AA Acquisitions assumed management of the airport, they strung Flightline along and would not grant a lease upon the promised terms.
Flightline has threatened a billion-dollar lawsuit against the Miami-Dade Aviation Department and AA Acquisitions, alleging breach of contract and racial discrimination.
The firm is also threatening to galvanize a boycott of Miami International Airport.
“We’re going to attack them from the air, sea and land,” Brown promised.