'Angel Flight' Pilot Charged Gate Fees To Transport Sick Patient

Tuesday, April 29th 2014, 10:22 pm
By: News 9

A local pediatrician, who's also an Angel Flight Pilot, has taken aim at a company that operates out of Wiley Post Airport.

Dr. Rick Stanford has been piloting Angel Flights for 15 years.

Angel Flight is a national pilot's organization—financed by the pilots--that transports gravely ill patients to hospitals they can't afford to fly to or hospitals that are too far away to drive to.

Stanford said a few weeks ago he stopped into Atlantic Aviation at Wiley Post to pick up an elderly cancer patient and her caregiver. Atlantic is what's called a "Fixed Base Operator," which is a terminal for smaller aircraft.

Stanford said Atlantic charged him $17 to park for 15 minutes. He said he's never been charged before.

"It was either pay a ramp fee and a security fee or buy fuel from them," Stanford said.

"Atlantic does have a policy regarding Angel Flights where we discount fuel and often waive certain fees," said Dallas-based Atlantic Aviation Spokesperson Sue Sommers. "We do ask that they call ahead so we can set this up with our front desk personnel."

Sommers added that Atlantic just donated $5,000 to Angel Flight a week ago.

"Well that's wonderful, but doesn't do anything for the pilots," Dr. Stanford replied Tuesday.

Three other pilots told News 9 Tuesday that Atlantic is the only local FBO that has begun charging ramp and security fees.