FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) – Nearly 30 tenants could soon be without hangar space at the H.L. Sonny Callahan Airport in Fairhope.

“We gave them one week to decide. They have to rescind that eviction notice and if not then we would terminate the lease that we have with Continental Motors at the Fairhope airport,” said Fairhope Airport Authority board member Jack Burrell.

Burrell says tensions with the longtime airport operator, Continental Motors, have been growing since last August when the airport authority received notice that Continental Motors intended to vacate the property on June 30 of this year. 

“Then, a few weeks later, they sent us a letter rescinding that offer. In response to that we filed a lawsuit for them failing to honor their agreement that they had made with us,” he added.

Burrell also says there were safety concerns with the current operation. Now, a letter sent to tenants dated Monday, Jan. 10 Continental Motors accuses the board of trying to evict them from the property. The letter went on to say “customers must vacate their hangars by the close of business on January 31, 2022”. They add that if the Fairhope Airport Authority drops the lawsuit by Jan. 24, 2022 all customers can stay.

“That Fairhope airport was built mostly with federal tax dollars and so I think it’s also right to question the legality of them for no legitimate reason at all to evict them,” said Burrell. 

The board has informed the operator that if the letter to tenants is rescinded Continental Motors can continue operating the airport until June 30, 2022. An attorney for Continental Motors sent WKRG News 5 a response to the latest letter from the Fairhope Airport Authority. The letter was sent to us Thursday afternoon and is included below.

“It would be better for all involved parties and the customers at the Fairhope Airport if the Authority and Continental could work together to foster a positive outcome to our dispute despite the fact that tempers
have flared, people have reacted and relationships may – at least today – seem beyond repair. We remain open to finding a mutually agreeable solution and hope that the Authority will “put its gloves down” and come to the table to talk. Continental remains willing to attempt to resolve disputes arising in connection with the Airport lease,” the latest response from Continental Motors reads in part.