- Associated Press - Monday, January 26, 2015

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) - The Scottsbluff airport board may have to find another airline to provide subsidized flights to Denver.

The U.S. Transportation Department said in an order late last week that Beachwood, Ohio-based Aerodynamics Inc. has failed to show it is fit to operate as an air carrier under the direction and control of Scott Beale, its majority shareholder and CEO.

The Western Nebraska Regional Airport board in October voted to recommend Aerodynamics to the Transportation Department for Essential Air Service flights. Airports at North Platte, Kearney and other airports around the country also have selected Aerodynamics for the service.

In its rejection of Aerodynamics, the department noted the company’s bankruptcy filing in January 2013 and its subsequent emergence in August 2013. The department also noted that in July 2014 Beale lost a civil lawsuit that alleged fraud and owed the winner a $600,000 judgment.

“The department’s review indicates that (Aerodynamics) does not possess the managerial competency necessary to oversee its current charter and proposed scheduled passenger operations, nor does it have the proper compliance disposition and regard for the laws and regulations governing its services with the continued involvement of Mr. Beale,” the department order said.

The department set a two-week deadline for appeals before the findings are made final. Aerodynamics spokesman Ryan DiVita on Monday said he couldn’t immediately comment but also said the company was working on a statement.

Scottsbluff airport director Darwin Skelton said the Transportation Department has given the airport time to explore options and said Aerodynamics conceivably could solve the regulatory problem by replacing Beale as CEO.

But, he said, if Aerodynamics loses the appeal it could file with the Transportation Department, the Scottsbluff airport board would have to re-evaluate its options. In the meantime, he said, Great Lakes Airlines is providing the flights.

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