Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Opinion: Resolve air show fight outside courtroom

By The Editorial Board, San Bernardino County Sun

Now that the 2017 Planes of Fame Air Show has gone on, the parties involved in a dispute about the way the show is run have a year to work out their differences, we would hope, before the 2018 show.

And that’s what they should do. Ideally, outside a courtroom, not in one.

Tenants of the Chino Airport, including Yanks Air Museum and Flying Tigers Aviation, filed a lawsuit in March to shut down this year’s air show, which wound up taking place as scheduled at the airport last weekend.

At one point, the group of tenants wanted a judge to approve an injunction to ground the popular event this year. But in late April they dropped that effort for the sake of attendees, vendors and the aviation community. They’re to be commended for doing so.

But that doesn’t mean they’re dropping the lawsuit, which reads in part: “What began as a small gathering of aircraft enthusiasts has mushroomed into a massive weeklong undertaking that has become intolerable for other tenants. These tenants, their customers and guests are prevented from any reasonable access to their property because of physical barricades, prohibitive directional signage, traffic monitors, and traffic jams caused by the show.”

The plaintiffs allege that the air show has made intentional attempts to obstruct their businesses. Michael Thayer, president of Flying Tigers Aviation, is quoted on the Yanks website as saying, “We were tired of having meetings where [Planes of Fames representatives] would agree to a plan and then not keep their word. Even after filing suit, they made no effort to resolve this out of court.”

The Planes of Fames website — which thinks supporters for their nearly 16,000 signatures on a petition to let this year’s show happen — counters, “We also reached out to Yanks and Flying Tigers earlier this year to meet and discuss issues. Their response was they would only meet if their attorney was present.” The site notes that Yanks and Flying Tigers participated in the air show before 2016.

These problems can and should be worked out, well before the 2018 air show. All of these entities are important economically and/or culturally to Chino and the Inland Empire.

We encourage them to get together now and begin resolving their differences.

Original article can be found here:

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