Wednesday, August 19, 2015

North Central West Virginia Airport (KCKB) could soon have new tenant, board learns

Potential tenant
Scott Yoak of Aerospace Specialties speaks to the Benedum Airport Authority Wednesday about possibly relocating his business to the local airport.

BRIDGEPORT — The industrial park at North Central West Virginia Airport soon could have a new tenant.

Scott Yoak of Aerospace Specialties said he wants to bring his company, which focuses on sheet metal services for vintage aircraft, to the local airport. Yoak said Aerospace Specialties is currently based out of Lewisburg.

Yoak spoke with the Benedum Airport Authority during the board’s monthly meeting at the airport terminal in Bridgeport on Wednesday.

Aerospace Specialities employs three technicians and would be looking to add five technicians over the next five years, Yoak said.

Yoak said he wants “to relocate to an airport that would allow us to grow.”

Aerospace Specialties would look to lease property at the airport and construct its own facility, Yoak said.

Board members seemed receptive to the idea of having a new tenant. They instructed Airport Director Rick Rock to begin negotiating with Aerospace Specialities to work out an agreement for the board to consider at its next meeting.

Also Wednesday, the board took steps to upgrade the airport’s snow removal equipment, which Rock has said will be necessary to ensure continuity of service moving forward.

The board voted to accept funding through the Federal Aviation Administration to purchase a snow plow. The funds would come out of the Airport Improvement Program, which provides grants to small airports that exceed 10,000 enplanements in a year, according to Rock.

At the recommendation of airport engineer Chad Biller, the board also voted to move forward on acquiring a snow blower. The equipment will take about a year to manufacture, Biller said, and would need to be purchased using next year’s round of Airport Improvement Program funds, which have not officially been approved.

Each piece of equipment will cost roughly $500,000, according to information provided to the board.

In other business:

— Biller informed the board that an updated master plan for the airport is complete and will be submitted to the FAA by next week.

Once the federal agency has had time to review the plan and make recommendations, it will be returned to the board for final approval, Biller said.

— The board discussed a proposed agreement to lease airport property along W.Va. 131 to the City of Bridgeport. The city has a desire to make use of the property, which is near the Bridgeport Recreation Complex.

The board concluded that it would best to have board member Mike Romano and City Manager Kim Haws work together to fine-tune a draft lease agreement and then return with further recommendations.

— The board decided to form a committee to review security issues with the airport’s hangar gates and return with recommendations for action.

— The board authorized travel expenses for two separate trips for airport officials. Rock requested to travel to Washington, D.C., along with other airport managers to discuss issues related to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Essential Air Service program.

The board also authorized Shawn Long, the local Allegiant station manager, to attend a conference for station managers at Allegiant Air’s headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada.

— Rock provided a number of updates to the board, including the latest enplanement numbers. Through July, the local airport reached 15,657 enplanements, up from 13,653 through the same period last year, according to Rock.

Rock remarked on the success of Allegiant’s direct flights from North Central West Virginia Airport to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, which were offered this summer.

“The yield has been amazing,” Rock said. “Unless something tremendously bad happens, Myrtle Beach at North Central West Virginia Airport will be starting back next year, no doubt about it.”


Director's update 
North Central West Virginia Airport Director Rick Rock provides an update to the Benedum Airport Authority during a meeting at the airport terminal in Bridgeport Wednesday.

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