Wednesday, January 3, 2007
Tracy airport in line for more funds
The Stockton (CA) Record
TRACY – A state loan to fund construction of 44 new hangars could give the Tracy Municipal Airport clearance for turning a greater profit. That is the assessment by city staff who asked the City Council on Tuesday night to prioritize a list of recommendations to make the airport more financially self-sustaining beginning in the next two years. The 25-year loan would total $2.1million, and after four years, the airport could generate about $87,000 more than the cost of the annual debt service because of higher fuel sales brought by additional aircraft the airport could serve, according to city staff.
Todd Falconer, a pilot, cautioned the council not to speculate that the hangars would fill and to make sure a market for them exists.
“If I was in your position, I would look for an assurance,” Falconer said.
Deputy Public Works Director Rod Buchanan said the 51 city-owned hangars at the airport averaged 99.1 percent occupancy in the past five years.
The addition of the 44 proposed hangars is under Federal Aviation Administration review, according to city staff.
Buchanan said the airport has taken out three loans for hangars, and all have turned a profit. He said the city paid off two of the loans in the past year. He did not elaborate on the amount of the loans.
“It is a moneymaker,” Buchanan said.
The council had not made a decision as of The Record’s deadline Tuesday night.
Adding hangars is a key recommendation the Boyd Group aviation consulting firm made last year.
Other short-term options, which can be undertaken in one to two years, include upgrading the airport septic system, hiring a full-time airport coordinator and exploring an exclusive negotiation agreement for the smaller New Jerusalem Airport.