Change In Management Of Tri-Cities Airport

By Gabe Osterhout

July 22, 2010 Updated May 1, 2007 at 11:00 AM EDT

The Village pays 53-thousand dollars a year to Goodrich Aviation to manage the Tri-Cities Airport.

A 10-year contract was signed in 1997, and expires at the end of September.

Under the deal, all rent money paid for hanger space, goes in the pocket of Goodrich.

That includes most of the money made from fuel sales.

It amounts to at least $150-thousand dollars a year for Goodrich.

A group of pilots says Endicott is losing out, and proposes the Village take over management.

Walt Johnson is a pilot from Owego.

He's flown in and out of the Tri-Cities Airport in Endicott.

And sees a potential profit if the Village were to manage it.

"All the rents for the airport which sum about 80 thousand dollars and 20 thousand dollars a year from fuel sales. If you add that up, that's a very pretty penny. It's about 150-thousand dollars over the last 10 years, that's 1.5 million," says Johnson.

Johnson says revenue at the airport would offset costs.

He estimates the Village would make 37-thousand dollars a year.

But the Tri-Cities Airport Advisory Committee, which is appointed by the mayor, says the Village needs to stay out of the airport business.

It says the Village never came anywhere close to making a profit when it managed the airport from 1993 to 97.

And while it still loses money with a private management company, it's spending much less per year.

"The theory of the public private partnership can happen however you want to slice it. The contract sets how much money the village gets and what does the fixed base operator get to keep," says Jack Howey of the Airport Advisory Committee.

Mayor Joan Hickey Pulse would like to have as many businesses running at the airport as possible.

But she says that's not possible under the current deal.

"Everyone has been shut out and I just don't feel we can travel that road any longer," says Pulse.

The village board is torn over which path is best.

And will spend the next few months researching a plan that will take the airport to even greater heights.

Again, Endicott's contract with Goodrich Aviation expires at the end of September.

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