Dade Tax Dollars Could Subsidize Terminals For Private Jet Owners

Dade taxpayers could soon be footing the bill for two luxurious terminals used by private jet owners at Opa Locka Airport, under a plan already partially approved by Dade commissioners.

If approved, Dade will provide $5 million in funding to Fontainebleau Aviation, which has a private jet terminal under construction at Opa Locka airport. Fontainebleau is owned by the Soffer family’s Turnberrry Associates.

Separately, commissioners have already approved $5 million in funding for a rival private jet terminal at Opa Locka airport, Orion Jet Center. Orion’s majority owners is Leonard Abess, who once controlled ownership of City National Bank of Miami.

Tunberry and Abess were both among the largest donors to Dade commissioners and mayor Carlos Gimenez last year.

The subsidy for Fontainebleau will be reviewed by a committee later this week. Both the Fontainebleau and the Orion resolutions were sponsored by Barbara Jordan, who also backed the Marlins Stadium deal that could ultimately cost local taxpayers over $3 billion.