City close to action on new airport board

Published 5:00 am Monday, September 18, 2000

City officials believe they are close to action to create anadvisory board to make recommendations for operation of theBrookhaven Municipal Airport.

“We’re doing just what we said we were going to do,” said Ward 5Alderman Tom Smith about airport plans following the board’sabolishment of a previous airport board and assumption of airportcontrol earlier this year.

An airport operations ordinance is expected to be discussed atTuesday’s meeting with appointments to the advisory board possiblyat the next meeting, said Ward 4 Alderman John Roberts.

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Smith said the aldermen subcommittee on the airport would makerecommendations, but the full board would have to make decisions.In operational matter, the city board would also retain authorityand act based on the advisory board’s recommendations, Robertsadded.

Officials are focusing on establishing the advisory board andthen making decisions on airport operations, with the airportmanager also having input in the process.

“They’ll tell us what we need to do and we’ll act on it,”Roberts said.

One plan being considered is a five-member board including threepeople with aeronautical experience and two with businessbackgrounds, Roberts said. A three-member panel has also beendiscussed.

Roberts said he is anxious to get the advisory boardestablished.

The alderman said one area of responsibility would be settinghangar fees that are fair to users and the city. Also, streamliningfuel purchase plans, with an added benefit of improved insurancecoverage, is another area being looked at, Roberts said.

Aldermen have already approved a courtesy car at the airport.While there is a potential liability, Roberts said the car willhelp improve pilots’ impression of the airport.

“It’s a liability worth taking just to have a car out there,”Roberts said.

Other aesthetic changes Roberts mentioned were restrooms, makingthe buildings smoke-free and improving the overall appearance.Those would also improve the airport’s and city’s image.

“It’s the first impression of Brookhaven that out of townbusiness people see,” Roberts said.