ST. CROIX — Island Airlines, LLC, which was suspended by the Federal Aviation Administration (F.A.A.) last week for failure to allow the F.A.A. to inspect its aircraft and records, continued to use the Medical Air Services Association (MASA) Assist logo — even after the company stopped doing business with the private carrier eighteen months ago, and after multiple notices to stop using the MASA Assist logo, Dusty Cook, MASA global transportation director told The Consortium on Monday.
“Our contracted ended over eighteen months ago, and not only that, we again sent [Island Airlines] a cease and desist order in January because they kept using our logos and they had stuff up on their website,” Mr. Cook said. “MASA gives people a lot of credibility because we have tens of thousands of memberships,” Mr. Cook added, suggesting that Island Airlines may have seen value in keeping the MASA logos — even after multiple orders to stop using them.
Mr. Cook said the company had been inundated with calls following The Consortium’s report, concerned about MASA’s relationship with Island Airlines. “They are extremely afraid that this is us,” Mr. Cook said.
MASA said its latest contract is with REVA, which is based out of Puerto Rico and provides MASA services to residents in the U.S. Virgin Islands. “They are much larger, professional, and we’ve done over a thousand air ambulances in the Virgin Islands [with REVA] and spent millions of dollars there,” Mr. Cook said.
“For the longest while we’ve been away from this company, and we just want our [customers] to know that they’re going to be taken care of. I appreciate you bringing this to our attention because we’re going to get right back in their face and tell them to stop doing this,” he said.
According to information found on its Facebook page, Island Airlines was established in 2006 on St. Croix and provides air charter, air ambulance and pet travel services. An attempt to visit the company’s website, http://islandairlinesllc.com, leads to a page that says the site is under maintenance.
On March 14, 2017, the FAA received information alleging the St. Croix-based company was operating a Beech B200 while an inspection was overdue for one of its engines. Between March 15, 2017 and Nov. 29, 2017, the FAA tried numerous times to contact Island Airlines by email and certified letters to alert the company it was opening an investigation and to schedule an inspection of its aircraft and records.
Additionally, the FAA sent inspectors to St. Croix to inspect Island Airlines’ records and aircraft in April 2017 and November 2017.
The company did not respond to the FAA’s various communications and did not make a representative available to allow the inspectors access to its operations base, the FAA alleged.
Because Island Airlines did not allow access to its operations base for inspection of its records and aircraft, the FAA said alleged that it could not verify the company’s qualifications to hold an Air Carrier Certificate. The FAA has determined that the safety of the flying public requires the suspension of Island Airlines’ certificate until it allows inspection of its records and aircraft to establish the company’s qualifications.
The emergency order of Suspension is effective immediately, and the company cannot conduct operations while the order is in effect. Island Air surrendered its certificate.
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