Dog Airline BARK Air Faces Legal Trouble

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A new airline dedicated to flying dogs, BARK Air, is being taken to court by the Westchester County government for allegedly breaking the rules.

According to USA Today, BARK Air, which specializes in transporting dogs, recently had its inaugural flight from Westchester County. However, local authorities are suing BARK in federal court, accusing the airline of violating airport regulations in Westchester.

Lawyers for Westchester County, New York, claim that BARK Air is operating in the private jet area of Westchester County Airport. This goes against local laws that prohibit commercial and charter flights with more than nine seats from using the private jet terminal.

For dog lovers out there, BARK Air uses a Gulfstream Aerospace GV jet, which has space for 14 seats.

Westchester County is seeking a court order against BARK to stop it from operating in the private jet area.

However, space in the terminal is very limited, given passenger restrictions and voluntary nighttime flight limitations.

Amid these issues, a BARK Air spokesperson said their ‘furry customers’ (dogs) can still travel. The company did not comment on the lawsuit and is unsure if it will impact their business.

Westchester isn’t just targeting BARK. They’re also going after Talon Air, a private jet company that partners with BARK to offer dog flights. Though Talon Air has since been sold, it was originally founded by Democratic Party mega-donor Adam Katz, who has donated tens of thousands of dollars to the political fund of County Executive George Latimer.

They claim that restrictions on airport use for charter flights violate federal law.

Westchester County is fed up with public charter services. In a regulatory filing submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), they argue that the latest version of public charters is very similar to the services offered by major commercial airlines.

Public charter companies are forcing airports like HPN (Westchester) to allow them to fly from private jet terminals, indirectly giving them an advantage over commercial airlines.

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