Airport to pay Spokane Airways over condemnation
Spokane International Airport will pay almost one-third of the cost of settling a lawsuit brought by the owners of Spokane Airways.
The $1.8 million deal was approved Tuesday by Spokane County commissioners Todd Mielke and Bonnie Mager. Mielke sits on the airport board of directors, which signed off on the settlement last week.
The Spokane City Council voted to support the agreement, which does not include any admission of wrongdoing, at its meeting Monday.
The airport is owned by the city and county. All three were sued in 2007 by RMA Inc., the corporate parent of Spokane Airways, for improper condemnation of six airport buildings on which it was the leaseholder.
The buildings obstructed the new control tower’s line-of-sight to portions of the runway.
Spokane Airways continues to provide fuel and other aviation-related services from other buildings at the airport.
Washington state courts consistently ruled in favor of RMA, which in January filed a $14 million claim against the airport, city and county.
The settlement, negotiated with the help of a Seattle mediator, was announced last week.
ACE Property & Casualty Co. will pay $875,000 of the settlement. Zurich American Insurance Co., which provides coverage for airport officials and directors, will pay $350,000. The rest, $575,000, will be paid by the airport.
The airport also is responsible for almost $340,000 in legal fees. ACE covered some fees not included in that total.
Spokesman Todd Woodard said the funds will be taken from revenues generated from parking, concession, and lease fees.
“We’re just happy it was resolved,” he said.
Attorney Tim Lawlor, who represented RMA and its owners, Richard and Margaret Chastek, credited the airport board and Chairman David Clack for resolving the suit.
“It’s fair to the Chasteks. It’s fair to the airport,” Lawlor said.