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Airport committee looks at other private ventures

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Airport success has more to do with location than privatization, many airport managers said, according to a report presented to the county's airport privatization study committee.

Three committee members -- two of whom have actively campaigned against a passenger service proposal for Briscoe Field -- interviewed managers from across the nation at airports similar to Gwinnett's.

Jim Regan, who has lead Citizens for a Better Gwinnett, said the officials he interviewed said privatization was good for "union busting," allowing a private company to pay employees less and ask them to do multiple tasks.

Many locations are at a "break even" point in revenues and costs.

Mary Jane Polizzano, who interviewed officials with experience in Texas, Louisiana and Nevada, said airportmanagers were skeptical about a successful privatization of Briscoe Field, largely because of the airport's small acreage and runway.

Gaye McNeill, a commercialization opponent, gathered some lessons from three airports in New York, one of which withdrew its privatization proposal, one that was rejected because of problems with the contractor and another where privatization began but was turned back over to the Port Authority when the company, a British bus company, pulled out.

Based on those experiences, McNeill said any potential private partner should be heavily vetted and officials should watch for a proposal that includes multipliers for revenues such as hotel revenue that is not guaranteed.

At its next meeting Dec. 13, the study group is scheduled to hear reports on Briscoe Field's current conditions and interviews with companies who submitted qualifications to take over the county's airport.

At a Dec. 20 session, an aviation noise expert is expected to testify.

Comments

CD 2 years, 4 months ago

"Mary Jane Polizzano, who interviewed officials with experience in Texas, Louisiana and Nevada, said airportmanagers were skeptical about a successful privatization of Briscoe Field, largely because of the airport's small acreage and runway." Folks: this is about the short-term success of the gluttonous heathens and the developers/builders. The taxpayer is the taxpayer. Let them hold the bag at the end of the gluttonous run. That's what taxpayers are for. Get with the program, hand over your wallet, and smile!

Don't forget: Bannister-Green International Airport will create 98567439086748 jobs.

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Cleanupguy 2 years, 4 months ago

I was with you until the deflection of responsibility to leaders past. We need to remain focused on those currently in power that are still actively pushing this, and can actually do harm to taxpayers, like the bunch that gave another green light when they thought that Nash was out of town. It appears that they'll keep looking until they can find someone that will endorse this mess.

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JimmyOrr 2 years, 4 months ago

Looks like Gaye, Jim, and MJ really "shucked the corn" at Tuesday's meeting.

James H. (Jimmy) Orr, Jr.

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166LZU 2 years, 4 months ago

As far as the NY airport (Stewart Int’l) “where privatization began but was turned back over to the Port Authority when a British bus company (National Express Group) pulled out” goes – NEG didn’t just pull out. NEG entered into a 99-year lease agreement for Stewart Int’l as of April 1 (yes, April Fool’s Day), 2000. In October 2006 NEG notified the FAA of its intention to solicit investors to purchase its leasehold interest and on October 31 (yes, trick or treat!) 2007 the lease assignment was closed with NEG. But NEG just didn’t walk away. They sold the remaining 93 years on the airport lease to the NY NJ Port Authority for $78.5 million dollars – after only 7 years at Stewart Int’l. And this is the “success” story of FAA airport privatization? $78.5 million dollars of debt would go along perfectly with the $33 million that was borrowed for Coolray field – not!!

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166LZU 2 years, 4 months ago

As far as the NY airport (Stewart Int’l) “where privatization began but was turned back over to the Port Authority when a British bus company (National Express Group) pulled out” goes – NEG didn’t just pull out. NEG entered into a 99-year lease agreement for Stewart Int’l as of April 1 (yes, April Fool’s Day), 2000. In October 2006 NEG notified the FAA of its intention to solicit investors to purchase its leasehold interest and on October 31 (yes, trick or treat!) 2007 the lease assignment was closed with NEG. But NEG just didn’t walk away. They sold the remaining 93 years on the airport lease to the NY NJ Port Authority for $78.5 million dollars – after only 7 years at Stewart Int’l. And this is the “success” story of FAA airport privatization? $78.5 million dollars of debt would go along perfectly with the $33 million that was borrowed for Coolray field – not!!

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CD 2 years, 4 months ago

LOL..I'm laughing so hard that I can't type. Too bad Lehman is not around anymore to facilitate the deal and then if only Fannie/Freddie could guarantee it.

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