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Silver Airways’ $1M Lease Debt Threatens Operations at Fort Lauderdale Airport
Silver Airways, a Fort Lauderdale-based, Florida regional airline, is facing issues at its home airport. Broward County commissioners, the county that oversees the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport, announced in 2022 that the airline was delinquent on lease payments owed to the county since 2021.
While airlines operate into and out of airports, they do not own the space. Just as a business may lease out an office from a landlord, airlines lease out gate and terminal space and pay landing fees to the airport or governing body. Since 2021, Silver hadn’t paid fees to the county which included badges, gate use, joint use and landings among others. According to the county, the amount had come to a total of just under one million dollars. An agreement was made in 2021 to pay a reduced amount to the county, however, Silver did not act on this according to Alexander Williams, one of Broward County’s attorneys.
Silver Airways’ future hinges on Board vote
While this issue arose last year, the board of commissioners has an upcoming vote next week in which the Fort Lauderdale-based carrier’s lease future is on the table. The board will vote on whether to terminate Silver’s lease at the airport or further await repayment and allow the carrier to continue operating. Both parties want to achieve a solution that is mutually beneficial to the company, county and taxpayers of Broward County.
The regional carrier operates ATR 42s and 72s combining to make up a fleet of 18 strong. The ATR 42-600s offer 46 seats while the 72-600s offer 70 seats. Silver primarily operates into and out of Florida and the Caribbean, with hubs in Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa. Their route structure spans as far north as Greenville-Spartanburg and east to Dominica in the Caribbean. The company recently began operating ATR 72-500Fs on behalf of Amazon Air as well.
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