Air Force One, like all military aircraft, is supposed to refuel with the privately run TAC Air, because it is the government-contracted fuel provider at the airport, said TAC Air general manager Pam McCallister.
Two news agencies, the Chattanooga Times FreePress and Nooga.com, ran photos of Air Force One landing at competitor Wilson Air that day.
TAC Air offers lower priced fuel, according to AirNav.com.
Taxpayers have already subsidized Wilson Air with $4 million under the airport authority’s direction. As Tennessee Watchdog previously reported, Wilson Air has not turned a profit and has lost more than $1 million since it opened in 2011.
The question that prompted Waterhouse to hang up was this:
Did someone from the Chattanooga Airport or the Chattanooga Airport Authority direct someone in the military or someone in charge of Air Force One’s arrival to go to the Wilson Air facility?
Or did someone from the airport at least make the suggestion?
“Are you talking about that thing from last week?” Waterhouse asked.
Tennessee Watchdog responded in the affirmative.
“That’s not a news story. I don’t have anything further to comment on,” Waterhouse said, and ended the call.
Tennessee Watchdog originally posed these same questions to the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command Office nine days ago. When no response was forthcoming, Tennessee Watchdog requested an update.
Spokeswoman Catherine Barnsley’s response:
“I got word back from the offices in D.C. that they had already answered your questions. So, I didn’t realize that you were still waiting on anything from us. When I was told that answers had been provided I trusted that that was so.”
As of Friday, no one from any government entity had responded to any of Tennessee Watchdog’s questions on the matter.
Barnsley promised to forward the questions once more through appropriate channels.
Contact Christopher Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org.