No one ever took much notice until Friday, but the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission requires airlines to have a special permit to serve drinks in Utah, either on the ground or in the air.
Now Trans World Airlines is scurrying to obtain the public service permit, and an audit has been ordered of airlines that take off from and land in Utah airports to see if they have the proper permits to serve liquor.The question of whether all airlines are licensed was raised Friday when the chairman of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission chairman noticed TWA was not on a routine list of annual renewals.
Chairman J. Bonner Ritchie said he had just been on a TWA flight where liquor had been served. That led the rest of the board to wonder whether other airlines were also not in compliance with the requirement.
The commission requires that all airlines with flights taking off or landing in Utah obtain the license, which allows them to serve alcohol either on the ground or in the air above the state.
"I guess we've never had one of those," TWA Station Manager Bob Shaw said after hearing about the requirement. "We're trying to take care of that right now."
The cost of the license is $15 annually for each scheduled flight. TWA has six flights leaving or arriving at the Salt Lake International Airport daily, meaning it will set the airline back $90.
Meanwhile, the operations manager of the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control said a check is being made of all airlines to see if they are in compliance.
That audit, Dennis Kellen said, is expected to be completed early next week. Kellen said it had always been assumed all airlines had the license, since other states have similar requirements.