Late last month, the Allegheny County Airport Authority revoked Pittsburgh Limousine?s license to operate at Pittsburgh International Airport. The authority cited that only five of the 33 vehicles it used to drive people to and from the airport were insured.
?When this was learned, we immediately revoked their permit to operate here,? said Joanne Jeny, a spokesperson for the airport.
However, the authority voted to reinstate the company?s license after only a week. But not before it ordered the company to pay a $211,500 fine before it can resume servicing at the airport.
?Pittsburgh Limousine has had a pretty good record of operation at the airport,? Jeny said. ?And since doing business at the airport mans an awful lot of revenue to their company, we promptly scheduled a hearing for them so that they could present their information and the airport authority could present its information.?
The hearing was before a panel of three directors from the airport authority who were charged with hearing both sides and making a decision on the issue.
At the hearing, John Ryan, president of Pittsburgh Limousine, explained that it was a misunderstanding with a new insurance company he used this year to provide coverage for some of his vehicles and that he had no reason to believe that his vehicles were not insured.
?We?re a victim of circumstance because we felt in good faith that we were being covered,? Ryan said. ?Only to find out that we weren?t. When I call the insurance company and say ?Hey, add these cars,? I have to assume in good faith that you added them. Last year as our new contract was coming into affect, we decided that we?d give some of the business to another insurance company.?
However, since the hearing, the authority determined the company's April 14 application to renew its airport license contained incomplete and false statements, and that the company was not able to provide conclusive proof that it had insurance on many of its vehicles
Ryan said that he is in the process of providing all of the information that that airport has required. He also said that legal action against the insurance is being considered.
For more on this story see the June issue of LCT.