By: Paul A. Lange, Esq. and Sydney L. Macca, Esq.
Environmental issues relating to fuel contamination have become an increasingly important issue for FBOs when leasing space at an airport. Airport lease agreements, more often than not, include a clause stating the FBO is solely responsible and fully liable for any and all fuel leaks or spills, as well as any damage resulting from same. Many lease agreements also include indemnification clauses requiring FBOs to hold harmless and indemnify the airport, the city, the county, or any other governing entity, thereby effectively releasing these parties from liability for the FBOs’ tenants’ spills, and perhaps even spills that originate elsewhere on the airport property and migrate onto or under an FBO’s leasehold. As fuel spills and leaks are a very real possibility, whether on an FBO’s own leasehold or elsewhere at an airport, there are some important steps FBOs need to take to minimize their legal liability.