Officials Want to Sell Surplus New Jerusalem Airport

Monday, August 23, 2004
Tracy airport ends year in the black
To increase revenues, officials want to sell surplus New Jerusalem Airport
By Dave Myhra
The Tri-Valley (CA) Herald

TRACY — The Airport Advisory Commission and city staff members have racked up a number of accomplishments in the past year, including getting the airport’s financial house in order. The airport took in $246,226 for fiscal year 2003-04 and spent the same amount, which marked the first time in years that it has been in the black.

“We’ve done everything to maximize revenue and cut expenses,” said Rod Buchanan, airport manager.

Other accomplishments include keeping the hangar occupancy rate at nearly 100 percent and completing the paperwork for the release of New Jerusalem Airport.

New Jerusalem Airport was given to the city in 1949 as surplus, and now the city wants to sell it, which would bring in about $2 million.

However, Tracy must secure a release from the federal government, which could take up to three years.

Completion of the initial research was a step forward, though.

“To get all of the paperwork (together) took a long time,” Buchanan said.

On the public relations side, airport commissioners participated in the California Dry Bean Festival, and the annual”Just Plane Fun” open house was a success.

Looking foward to the next year, the Airport Commission and city officials have identified some new goals.

Those include developing funding sources, such as building new hangars and attracting corporate clients, as well as following up on the New Jerusalem release.

The airport remains $1.3 million in debt. Along with paying that down, the commission has a number of improvement projects it wants to get done.

Extending city sewer service, new lighting, a repaved entrance and fence relocation are among them.

But the biggest long-term goal is for the airport to contribute to the community with revenue and jobs.

“It should be self supportive, and contribute to the economic vitality of the city,” Buchanan said.

Officials want the airport to be a place where people come for events and recreation in addition to general aviation.