Great Lakes Disputes Denver Audit

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - A Cheyenne-based regional airline denies that it owes Denver International Airport all the money that officials there have claimed.

An audit of Great Lakes Aviation by the Denver Auditor's Office indicates the airline owes $482,244 in fees and interest on those fees for a period between 2000 and 2004.

Great Lakes officials released this statement Monday:

"Great Lakes Airlines has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with the city of Denver as a tenant at the Denver International Airport.

"Great Lakes disagrees that it owes the amounts claimed by the city of Denver for the years 2000-2004.

"The lease between Great Lakes and the city of Denver contains provisions governing the resolution of issues related to that lease, and Great Lakes intends to follow those provisions to attempt to resolve any differences with the city of Denver."

Great Lakes officials did not elaborate on the apparent discrepancy.

The city of Denver owns and operates Denver International Airport.

Great Lakes operates 150 weekday flights from Denver.

It also has codeshare agreements with Frontier Airlines and United Airlines, meaning passengers can fly on Great Lakes flights from cities outside of Denver to hook up with long-haul flights offered by those two carriers from DIA. Any luggage is checked through, and when applicable, travelers earn airline miles for the regional leg of their trip.

The report, published on the city auditor's Web site, says that under the Denver airport's use and lease agreement, interest on payments due the city accrues at 18 percent a year.

The report puts the amount of delinquent interest from 2000 to 2003 at $193,531.

At the same time, the audit shows Great Lakes overpaid deicing fees - $64 - as well as passenger facility fees for eight months in 2004 totaling $1,043.

A portion of the amount city officials say Great Lakes owes - $276,585 - is due to the airline using the wrong aircraft weights to calculate fees, the audit says.

During the audit period, Great Lakes changed from the Beechcraft 1900C to the 1900D.

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