• Westchester County is suing BARK Air, which bills itself as the first “air travel experience” designed for dogs.
  • The county alleges that BARK Air is operating out of the Westchester County Airport’s private jet area contrary to county law.
  • BARK Air uses a Gulfstream Aerospace GV jet, which has room for 14 seats.

Just days after six canines aboard BARK Air — which bills itself as the first “air travel experience” designed for dogs — took the charter company’s inaugural flight out of Westchester County, the county sued BARK in federal court, alleging violations of Westchester’s airport-use restrictions.

Attorneys for Westchester County, New York, say that BARK Air is operating out of the Westchester County Airport’s private jet area contrary to county law, which prohibits commercial and chartered aircraft with more than nine seats from using the private jet terminal.

BARK Air uses a Gulfstream Aerospace GV jet, which has room for 14 seats.

A concierge makes sure the dogs are adjusting well to the new environment.

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What is BARK Air being sued for?

Westchester County is seeking an injunction against BARK, which would prohibit it from operating in the private jet area. The only other option would be for BARK to operate out of the passenger terminal. But space at the terminal is severely limited, given the county’s imposition of a passenger cap and voluntary night-time flight restrictions.

However, a spokesperson for BARK Air said its furry customers should still be able to embark on upcoming travel. While the company “doesn’t comment on litigation,” according to the spokesperson, “we don’t believe this will impact our operations.”

Named alongside BARK in Westchester’s lawsuit is Talon Air, which is a private jet company partnering with BARK to offer the canine aviation service. Though the company was later sold, Talon Air was initially founded by Democratic mega-donor Adam Katz, who has donated tens of thousands of dollars to County Executive George Latimer’s political coffers.

Three other airlines have separately sued Westchester in federal court, claiming that the county’s airport-use restrictions on charter flights violate federal law. However, a judge has yet to rule on their claims.

Westchester County has made clear its frustration with public charter services. In a regulatory filing submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration, it said that the latest iteration of public charters “closely resembles” services offered by large, commercial airlines.

Public charter companies “are attempting to force airports such as (Westchester) HPN to allow them to fly” from the private jet terminal “and thereby gain a competitive advantage” over commercial airlines, the county said in its filing.

“Accordingly, the two should be held to the same safety and security standards, and airport sponsors should continue to treat the two equally,” the county added.

Asher Stockler is a reporter for The Journal News and the USA Today Network New York. You can send him an email at astockler@lohud.com. Reach him securely: asher.stockler@protonmail.com.

Article source: https://airlines.einnews.com/article/717948834/Z79vPLddBHqZhGaaref=rss&ecode=vaZAu9rk30b8KC5H

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