Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Marianna Municipal Airport (KMAI), Florida

City moves forward with privatization plan for airport FBO 

In addition to planned improvements to the north-south runway, the terminal, fueling options and other aspects of the Marianna Municipal Airport, a private fixed-based operator may soon be offering services to pilots and passengers.

The Marianna Airport Industrial Board in January recommended that city officials move forward with plans to privatize the FBO and this month, city commissioners gave the go-ahead for lease negotiations.

City Manager Jim Dean told commissioners during their February meeting that he has discussed the prospect at length with city attorney Frank Bondurant and that the city has been approached by a number of unsolicited companies interested in leasing the airport FBO.

Though Dean and Bondurant are now authorized to negotiate a lease “with the most qualified private party to operate the city’s FBO,” the results of those lease talks will be returned to the commission for approval before papers are signed.

Dean, reached by phone Tuesday, said the FBO lease agreement should be finalized by the end of the week, but who will sign it and manage the city FBO remains to be seen.

One of the parties interested in the contract is George Sigler, owner of several aviation companies and manager of the municipal airport in Bay Minette, Ala.

Dean said Sigler has aggressively pursued the city for the contract, but other entities have indirectly made their interest known as well.

Though no formal arrangements have been made between the city and Sigler on the matter, Dean did say, “we’ve done some due diligence work,” on the man that is Marianna’s most vocal prospect for the FBO lease.

Typical FBO services include aircraft fueling and parking services, pilot and passenger amenities, craft maintenance and flight training. While the full extent of changes to the Marianna FBO service offerings remains to be seen, whoever takes the city lease, Dean said, would, to some degree, manage fuel sales, hangar rentals and grounds care, with a portion of the public terminal building reserved for private FBO offices.

Story:  http://www.jcfloridan.com

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