There’s a détente on the horizon at the Chilliwack Airport.
Some tenants at the airport went public this spring with complaints about what they called bullying tactics by Magnum Management over lease-related issues.
But a newly hired facilitator is going to hopefully help ease tensions between Magnum Management and Chilliwack Airport tenants, confirmed Garry Atkins, manager of Magnum Management.
“It’s an effort to try to deal with some of the issues tenants say they had and to facilitate more open communications,” said Atkins.
The parties haven’t yet gotten into the meat of the outstanding issues. They’re still in preliminary talks, expected to take place both with individual tenants, and with Chilliwack Airport Tenants’ Association reps.
“We’re happy we’ve gotten to this stage,” said Atkins. “We are hopeful this step will move things forward and resolve these outstanding issues.”
Magnum deals with about 15 tenants, some of which have subtenants. Some former tenants stated they had left the airport site because of management issues.
The Chilliwack Airport Tenants’ Association (CATA) put out a release saying the facilitator chosen by Magnum has been vetted by the group, and is believed to be someone who will “greatly help in getting issues settled.”
As an act of good faith, the tenants’ association suspended their online criticism about Magnum’s alleged bullying tactics. Magnum reps deny there was ever any bullying.
The situation first became public when Magnum moved to take back control of the Airport Coffee Shop patio for repairs, making plans to remove trees and re-do the concrete, after an inspection yielded safety issues. The coffee shop had use of the patio, but never formerly paid for it in their lease.
But there’s been some positive developments since then.
“We feel that this is a great move forward for the Chilliwack Airport,” wrote the association rep about the new facilitator. “We would like to thank the aviation community and the general public at this time for your support, calls to City Hall and calls to Magnum Management on our behalf.”
“We hope that moving forward we can get back to business and focus our efforts as a group to promoting the Chilliwack Airport, the aviation businesses that reside here, and the City of Chilliwack in general,” said the release, by the tenants’ association.
Many tried to complain to City of Chilliwack but they said their hands were tied legally. The building is owned by City of Chilliwack, but Magnum Management is the head leaseholder, and has the contractual obligation to manage the airport. The city’s role at the airport is capital upgrades.