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02-02-2004 Special Called Meeting """" ii PEACHTREE CITY AIRPORT AUTHORITY MINUTES OF MEETING '_I f' February 2, 2004 A Special Called meeting of the Peachtree City Airport Authority was held at the Aviation Center, Peachtree City-Falcon Field Airport, on February 2, 2004, at 7:00 p.m. Those present were Chairman Catherine M. Nelmes; Members Jerry R. Cobb, Douglas A. Fisher, Matt M. Davis, Interim Manager Andrew Bolton, and Authority Attorney Douglas B. Warner I. NEW AGENDA ITEMS 04-02-01 Discuss whether or not the Airport Authority should contract out Peachtree City-Falcon Field's Fixed Based Operation to a private business. f"'""' Chairman Nelmes began the meeting by addressing the assembly stating that . . the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the phiiosophical question of whether the Airport Authority should contract with a private company to operate the FBO services. She asked that the initial discussion should detail the pros and cons of such an action, and will be limited to discussion among Authority Members first, eventually allowing for public discussion afterward. Chairman Nelmes began discussion stating that in conversations with business owners and tenants based at Falcon Field there were concerns of increases in fuel costs and reduction of the level of service. Many stated that they had made the decision to base at FFC because of the Authority's ownership of the FBO and the resulting fuel prices and service. She also reiterated that any relinquishment of the operation would be done through a bid process, but felt that under any scenario, the Authority should maintain the fuel farm. Mr. Davis believed it was also a fairness issue, stating that there are several business on the field with a proven history that may be interested in an opportunity to manage FBO services. He also stated that it might be best for the Authority to continue to manage FBO services until there was enough business on the field to allow for a second FBO, thus allowing competition among the FBOs to keep pricing low and service high. Mr. Fisher continued discussion, stating that at this point it was purely a philosophical question and not economic. His belief was that the purchase of the Hunting Facility by any company, should be based upon operating their core ~ business alone, not by adding the FBO into the equation as a make or break venture. He believed that FBO services are the key to the airport, and would like to see any business that took over the services be established on the airport for a number of years. Mr. Cobb stated the promotion of the airport and the surrounding community often begins at Falcon Field. It is often the front door for companies doing business in, or relocating to Fayette County. Currently the Authority has the control on that first impression. By contracting with an outside company, the Authority will lose a good measure of the control. He added that the FBO services and fuel sales are the economic engine that makes the airport run. Other income sources, such as tie down, hangar rents, and land leases are fixed and are increased only with CPI adjustments. He also added that when a situation exists where only one FBO is present on the field, there is no competition or "checks and balance" to propel prices. Chairman Nelmes agreed adding that many of competing airports in the area such as Newnan-Coweta County and Griffin also control the FBO and thus their "front door" to the community. Discussion was then opened to the public for comments. ~ General Robert Patterson (USAF Retired) was recognized and given the floor to speak. He stated as a pilot he has the opportunity to visit over 20 airports a year, none has exceeded Falcon Field in service. He also mentioned as a former Authority Chairman and member he was present during the previous tenants management of the FBO. He stated during this time if the company's financial situation was dire; it was difficult to hold them to a contract. Mayor Steve Brown was recognized and rose to speak. He asked that the Authority be open to the possibilities of a constant revenue stream, by contracting the services to a private company. He added that the hotel/motel tax was still in legal limbo but had confidence that the situation could be resolved. Mr. Davis stated that the Authority had gone through the process to change the "through the fence" agreement for the expressed purpose to make the Hunting facility and business opportunities at Falcon Field more appealing. He questioned the Mayor if the City was willing to offer an interested company tax abatements to attract a business to the airport? He believed that should an incentive were to exist, it might negate the need for a company to be dependent on fuel sales for the success of their business. rr-> Mayor Brown stated that the City would be open to the possibility of tax I: incentives for a company interested in relocating to Falcon Field. 1'i ~. I - Mr. Vern Darley was recognized to speak. Mr. Darley stated that several companies have moved or started businesses on the field. All had business models that did not include fueling. He believed that any company should be able to operate on its own core business and not be dependent on fuel sales. Additionally, it was his belief that the airport is a gateway to the community as is the Highway 54 and Highway 74 corridors. He stated that the Authority has a greater interest in maintaining the gateway than a private company would. He suggested a two to three year moratorium on contracting the FBO services to a private company, to allow the Authority to refocus on running the Airport and FBO. . " i ,) 'I ~:j Chairman Nelmes stated she was not inclined to invoke a moratorium. She realized there was no way to timely resolve the issue. She would however like to work closely with any company interested in the Hunting Facility to find other means of incentives, to allow them to relocate to the airport. All other Authority members were in agreement. Mr. Davis stated he liked the idea of a moratorium for a period of time, to stop the deluge of proposals. This would give the Authority time to appoint a new manager and new Authority member, giving them time to become knowledgeable on the situation. Then, the Authority could revisit the situation if needed. -- t:: Mr. Cobb agreed and stated the need for the Authority and management to have some "breathing room" to get through the transition. He also mentioned the willingness to work closely with any company wanting to purchase the Hunting Facility. Mr. Cobb made a motion and was seconded by Mr. Davis to establish a policy of not considering any proposal for the divestment of the FBO. Mr. Fisher stated he would also like to wait and have input from the new Authority member and Airport Manager on the subject. Mr. Davis mentioned that could agree on the policy, but would like to see a time limit established. Mr. Cobb stated that it was his opinion that a consensus existed, and that no member was willing to privatize the FBO at this lime. Mr. Cobb then amended his previous motion to establish a policy of not considering any proposal for the divestment of the FBO for a period of six months. Mr. Davis seconded the motion. The motion passed 3/1 with Mr. Davis, Mr. Cobb and Mr. Fisher voting in the affirmative, Chairman Nelmes was the dissenting vote. Mr. Cobb made a motion to adjourn and was seconded by Mr. Fisher. T r motion passed unanimously, and the meeting dj . rned at 8:35 pm ~ s&d- Attested by: