ADI Plans Quick Response to Federal Agency’s Letter

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — An executive with Aerodynamics Inc. reports his company will respond “as quickly as possible” to the requests made by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Last week, DOT responded to ADI’s Feb. 5 response to the department’s show-cause order it issued Jan. 22 with a request for additional documentation.

“We are working to address the additional questions raised by the DOT and remain focused on working through this process as quickly as possible,” says Mickey Bowman, ADI’s vice president of airline services.

ADI applied last year to DOT for an interstate scheduled passenger certificate to begin providing service between Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and Chicago. In response, DOT issued a show-cause order to not only deny ADI’s request but also revoke its existing interstate and foreign charter passenger certificates.

ADI responded with a series of measures intended to address the federal agency’s concerns. As reflected in the Feb. 5 filing, owner Scott Beale had stepped down from his management positions with ADI and affiliated companies and new management was put in place. Plans were also initiated for Beale to place his shares in the company in a voting trust and to sell those shares.

A civil court’s fraud finding against Beale last year — and his failure to disclose the issue to DOT as it conducted its review of ADI’s application — raised concerns with the department, prompting the show-cause order.

In its Feb. 13 letter, DOT said it is encouraged that ADI had taken “immediate action” to alleviate the concerns raised in the show-cause order and was agreeable to ADI’s request for 30 days for Beale to place his shares in a voting trust and 120 days to complete the sale of those shares. It also requested additional documentation regarding Beale’s efforts to separate himself from the company, ADI’s new management and other matters.

Dan Dickten, director of aviation at the Western Reserve Port Authority, which operates the airport, says he, too, is encouraged by DOT’s letter, which he characterized as “very positive” on the part of the agency. “It is evident that the DOT is interested in working with ADI to provide service between our community and Chicago,” he says.

Dickten points to what he described as a “key message” in DOT’s letter to ADI, clarifying that the carrier’s safety “was not in question or a factor” in the department’s review.

“ADI had asked for this clarification in their response to ADI’s show cause order,” Dickten notes. “I am highly optimistic that ADI’s new management team will work with the Department of Transportation to vet through the former ADI management issues and in the end, DOT will approve the airline to serve our community with daily flights to a large connecting hub airport, Chicago O’Hare International.”

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DOT ‘Encouraged’ but Wants More Info from ADI

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