[Archive Home][Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
"Airport privatization not new idea"
- From: "Stephen Irwin" <stepheni@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2008 23:53:36 +0430
Monday, June 9, 2008
Airport privatization not new idea
By Jeff Bishop
The Newnan (GA) Times-Herald
Although there's currently a lot of buzzing about the possible privatization
of the Newnan-Coweta Airport, this isn't the first time the airport has
flown in that direction.
The headline of a March 23, 1997 edition of the Atlanta Business Chronicle
trumpeted: "Newnan airport first to privatize."
The story's lead said that "privatization is taking off at Georgia
airports," and that Coweta County was leading the way.
"County officials and the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce plan to use the
airport as a tool to attract to new business to the rapidly-developing
county," the story stated.
"We've grown to a point where we need professional management," explained
Dr. Charles Barron, who was serving as chairman of the Coweta County Airport
Authority at the time.
So what happened?
Lawrenceville-based Airport Technologies won the bid and did indeed manage
the airport for a brief time. The plan of the company was to attract
businesses to the airport and market it to executives worldwide to
"transform the Newnan-Coweta County Airport into an economic engine that
will generate between $25 million and $50 million for the area within five
It didn't work out quite that way.
"We hired a management company, and it worked out OK," said Coweta County
Administrator Theron Gay.
"We didn't turn over the assets to anyone, but they did the books and the
contracts and they did a pretty good job. But then we just kind of moved
The big money never materialized. In fact, Gay said, "We felt like we could
do the same things, but in a more cost-effective way. We decided it would
work better to have the financials handled through the county, rather than
pay a contractor to do it."
John Hickman, who runs a private business out of the airport called Skys
Aircraft, said that the problem there was "putting the cart before the
"The airport doesn't build up and become big before industry comes in. You
have to have the industry first. I mean, you can build all these hangars,
but why do that if you have no airplanes to go in them?" he said.
The first job of the community should be "to get more industry into this
area," he said. Then the airport will grow as the need grows, he feels.
"Privatization would just take away from the people what the people have
funded with their taxpayer money," said Hickman. "It just adds another hand
in the till."
Hickman said he wasn't the only person "a little upset" at how the airport
was being run during the brief time it was under private management.
"Then the county took it back over and things improved tremendously," he
"I think when people are in business for themselves, there's an awful lot of
pressure put on meeting those bills every month," said Hickman. "But if the
airport is being operated as a public entity, even in the worst-case
scenario you can go to the county commission and ask for more money."
But that hasn't been necessary under the current Airport Authority, Hickman
"They're keeping it in the black and doing a good job," he said.
Post your opinion on this story in the CAA General Aviation Forum
Fair Use Notice
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
If you have any queries regarding this issue, please Email us at email@example.com