The Center for Grassroots Oversight

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Profile: Florida Air (FLAIR)

Florida Air (FLAIR) was a participant or observer in the following events:

Rudi Dekkers, who owns the Venice, Florida flight school attended by 9/11 hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi, sets up his own commuter airline called Florida Air (FLAIR), which flies out of Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. FLAIR, which also goes by the name Sunrise Airlines, will only be in service for a couple of months in 2001, and eventually has its operating authority revoked by the Department of Transportation. (Venice Gondolier Sun 3/3/2001; Transportation 2/14/2002, pp. 6963 pdf file; Mudge 1/25/2003; Martin 7/25/2004) Yet, at the same time as he is establishing FLAIR, Dekkers fails to pay his rent for Huffman Aviation flight school on time six months in a row, from February to July 2001, blaming this partly on tight cash flow. (Mudge 9/13/2001) According to the 9/11 Commission, at some point in their flight training Rudi Dekkers offers Atta and Alshehhi jobs as co-pilots for FLAIR. (9/11 Commission 8/21/2004, pp. 38 pdf file) Yet they are supposed to have completed training at Huffman Aviation two months earlier, in December 2000, after which Dekkers claims he never saw them again. (US Congress 3/19/2002; 9/11 Commission 7/24/2004, pp. 227; 9/11 Commission 8/21/2004, pp. 17 pdf file) Considering he reportedly offers him a job with his airline, it seems odd that Dekkers later claims having much disliked Atta when he was at Huffman. He will say he thought Atta was “very arrogant,” and that “My personal feeling was Atta was an asshole first class… I just didn’t like the guy… Sometimes you have that impression from when you meet people in the field and that was my first impression.” (Australian Broadcasting Corporation 10/21/2001; BBC 12/12/2001)


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