Sunday, September 25, 2005
Airport officials may venture into private aviation business
By Jeff Ristine
The San Diego (CA) Union-Tribune
The future of private aviation at San Diego International Airport returns to an airport board committee tomorrow as officials consider possible competition for the business that serves the aircraft. Jimsair, the family-owned company that supplies private and business aviation with fuel, parking and other services, will implore the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority to reject the idea of getting into the business itself.
Space devoted to general aviation would have to be relocated under proposed changes to the airfield aimed at improving circulation and safety on a taxiway.
As part of those changes, the authority could see “increased revenue opportunity” from taking over or sharing the work Jimsair performs, a report prepared for the committee meeting says. Another option is to open the airfield to a second, competing business.
Bryan Enarson, vice president for development at the airport authority, said the authority staff isn’t ready to recommend a specific course of action.
“We’re trying to frame the policy questions,” Enarson said. “The (full) board will have to give us some direction on how to go forward and how they want to manage the (airfield) capacity issue.”
Jack Monger, a consultant representing Jimsair in its dealings with the authority, said the company is willing to share Lindbergh Field with a competing operator.
The company, however, has lined up opposition to the idea of an authority takeover from the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Port Tenants Association, a coalition that includes businesses around Lindbergh Field.
Jimsair has been lobbying the airport agency for an extension of its lease that would permit the business to upgrade and expand. Enarson said any such negotiations would have to wait for the outcome of the larger decision on the business options for serving general aviation.