Vision Airlines still owes roughly $260,000 in unpaid passenger fees to Northwest Florida Regional Airport, but arrangements have been made to start paying off the debt.
In October, it was reported that Vision Airlines was behind in its passenger facility charge payments to Northwest Florida Regional Airport and other airports as well.
Since that time, the majority of the payments for the other airports have been sent or arrangements have been made to do so in the near future, including at Northwest Florida Regional, where Vision owned the most money, Clay Meek, director of sales for Vision Airlines, said.
“There has been an agreed arrangement made and (the passenger facility charges) will be paid in a timely manner,” he said.
Jon Morris, finance manager for the airport, said they were contacted by Vision Airlines on Friday and told to expect weekly payments starting soon.
“They’re making good faith efforts,” Morris said.
A $4.50 passenger facility charge is collected by each airline for every paying passenger who departs from Northwest Florida Regional. The airlines keep 11 cents from each charge for collecting the fee, but are supposed to pay the remaining $4.39 to the airport within 30 days after the end of the month in which it is collected.
Vision Airlines started offering flights out of Northwest Florida Regional in December 2010, but did not make its first passenger facility charge payment until early October, when it sent in $55,000.
In October, Meek said Vision’s credit card processor, First Data, was withholding millions of dollars in revenues from the airline. On Friday, he said their situation has not changed.
“As long as we’re doing scheduled service, they’re holding those funds,” Meek said.
According to figures released by Visit Florida, each visitor the airline brings to the Emerald Coast spends an average of $975. The study states Vision Airlines has brought $72 million in economic impact to the region since starting service in December 2010.
Meek said the airline is currently evaluating its future plans and anticipates announcing its expanded spring and summer 2012 schedule later this month or early next month.
“We’ve looked at the different cities and some of the cities that we worked with performed really well and some of them performed very poorly,” Meek said. “If we come back in, it will be based on the cities that performed well for us.”