Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Orlando International Airport disputes name of Orlando Melbourne International Airport

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Orlando International Airport told Channel 9’s Field Sutton that it’s willing to sue the city of Melbourne and its airport for adding Orlando to the airport's name.

Last year, it became the Orlando Melbourne International Airport.

OIA commissioned a study to find out whether customers are confused. Airport leaders in Orlando claim flyers are showing up in the wrong place. They said the report from the research company proves people are landing in Melbourne thinking they've touched down ready for business at the convention center or a vacation at the theme parks.

Airport leaders said they can’t release the study to Eyewitness News because it is private and they might use it to sue the Melbourne airport.

Officials with OIA call Melbourne’s name change false advertising.

"We are exceedingly protective of the traveling public not being confused,” said Frank Kruppenbacher, board chair of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.

The GOAA board approved a plan for OIA to go through mediation with Melbourne's airport and then turn to a lawsuit against Melbourne if mediation fails.

"It could cause a lot of confusion for people who didn't know the area,” said Esther Nesbitt, a traveler.

Melbourne's city manager sent a statement to Eyewitness News.

"We at city hall learned about this today. We will be investigating this and are certainly interested in an amicable resolution."

That's what OIA is hoping for too.

"We always try and figure out a way to amicably resolve the matter. If you don't amicably resolve it then you plant your feet and say, 'OK, we'll get it resolved,’” said Kruppenbacher.

The executive director at the Melbourne airport sent Eyewitness News and OIA a letter.  It reads in part, "...domestic and international passengers utilize both of our facilities for access to Central Florida and the greater Orlando area. We believe that consumers should have options when making traveling decisions to best suit their needs..."

Read the full letter here.

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