Campbell Oil Company and its related Executive Aircraft Services “strongly disagree” with an FAA notice that proposes a $1.38 million penalty against the companies for allegedly conducting illegal charter flights. The FAA alleges that between April 2017 and March 2019, the companies conducted approximately 154 paid illegal passenger-carrying flights in two Cessna Citations and Beechcraft King Air.
According to the FAA, the Elizabethtown, North Carolina-headquartered companies “did not have the required FAA operating or air carrier certificate and conducted the flights without appropriate operations specifications.” The FAA further alleges that the parties conducted operations with “unqualified pilots who did not complete FAA-required training, testing, and competency checks.”
A spokesperson for Campbell Oil told AIN that the aircraft being referred to are a CitaionJet owned by Campbell Oil, and a CitationJet and King Air B200 owned by Executive Aircraft. “The aircraft were not operated by Executive Aircraft, but rather were operated by lessees under various Part 91-compliant lease agreements,” according to the spokesman. “Executive Aircraft provides aircraft and aircraft related services, but not pilots, to Campbell Oil and other aircraft operators.”
“We take regulatory compliance very seriously and because of this, we have stayed in constant contact with the FAA’s Greensboro FSDO to ensure that the operations of our aircraft comply with the applicable regulations,” said Brian Campbell, President and CEO of both Campbell Oil and Executive Aircraft in response to the charges. “Despite thorough review of the operations involving our aircraft, at no time has the Greensboro FSDO indicated that these operations were in any way contrary to the regulations. This certainly leads us to question the motives behind the FAA’s investigation and present actions.”
Campbell added, “We have welcomed oversight and scrutiny of the operations involving our aircraft from the beginning, and we have been transparent in notifying the FAA of such operations since 2013. It is very frustrating that we have received from the FAA conflicting interpretations with respect to the regulations applicable to the operations of our aircraft and are now suffering as a result of this inconsistency.”
Although Campbell said he is disappointed with the agency’s actions, “we are hopeful that we will be able to reach a reasonable and satisfactory resolution with the FAA. If that is not possible, we will vigorously defend ourselves against these false allegations and believe a court will agree with our position and reject the FAA’s actions.”