Friday, May 6, 2016

No plans to sell Akron Fulton International Airport (KAKR), mayor says

Akron has no intention of selling Akron Fulton International Airport, Mayor Dan Horrigan said.

“As far as selling the airport? No. I’m not going to sell it,” the mayor said this week when asked by the Beacon Journal about ongoing conversations regarding the future of the airport. “It’s an asset. We want to leverage it for economic development.”

The city has been meeting with aviation experts and others to talk about the airport, which is run by a private company but still needs annual subsidies from the city. A blue-ribbon task force assembled by Horrigan noted earlier this year that the airport budget is $297,560 but it brings in only $219,462 in revenue.

While the group set the airport’s economic impact on the city at $11.9 million, it also cited many shortcomings, including there being no master plan, a lack of marketing for the facility and unavailability of space in its hangars.

Akron also would have to pay about $20 million to the Federal Aviation Administration for previous improvements if the airport were taken out of service.

Horrigan said the city wants to help the airport grow by making it more attractive for local businesses and have it spark economic development.

“We’re listening to folks and taking recommendations,” he said.

He noted that those experts have cited the airport’s 6,337-foot-long runway as an asset not available at other municipal airports. There is a second smaller runway, as well.

Although there is no deadline in place, the city would like to make decisions about the airport’s future at some point this year, Horrigan chief of staff James Hardy said.

Original article can be found here:

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