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Squawks & Headlines$1.1 million loss for government subsidized general aviation center

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$1.1 million loss for government subsidized general aviation center

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The Chattanooga Airport is now projecting a loss of more than $1.1 million over the first two years of operation for its government subsidized general aviation center. (www.timesfreepress.com) More...

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EricClark
Eric Clark 2
Amazing! Who gets it in the end, the consumer. Higher prices for all to cover their mistakes. Higher ticket prices, higher parking prices when will it stop.
Wingscrubber
Wingscrubber 1
Is this supposed to be a bad news money wasting story? I fail to see the negative, they just opened the hangar, it takes a while to break even and start making money. Competition driving down the cost of hangar rental and fuel is a good thing for the consumer, if not the business owners, but they'll be alright in the long run.
LearATP
R J 6
You don't see anything wrong with the government spending taxpayer money for services for private jets? Wow.
Wingscrubber
Wingscrubber 1
No, in fact I wholeheartedly support it - to me this reads like an aviation good-news story, government investing in aviation = good! Competition driving down fuel costs and hangar costs = good! Some of us have jobs designing, building and maintaining those jets you realize?
No matter how much anybody might resent seeing corporate fat cats and VIPs lording around in their Gulfstreams and Learjets, you have to realize, this is one of the ways you recover that money, by making them spend it on a luxury product. The supposed 'waste' you see in spending government money on this project will actually recover taxes through fuel and property taxes.
What is an anti-aviation troll like you doing on a website like this anyway?
GLF5Pilot
GLF5Pilot 1
Wingscrubber, I can appreciate your sentiment towards investment in aviation. But you must realize that it is dangerous ground when government starts picking the winners and losers in business, even aviation business. It might be nice in the short-term, but in the long run, it will only serve to hurt us all and may take away our aviation jobs that we enjoy so much. It is conceivable that this taxpayer subsidized FBO in CHA puts the private operator out of business because of the unfair advantages the new FBO enjoys with their 'free' money. Does that sound like something government ought to be doing? Fuel and property taxes will not make up for the damage done there.
Wingscrubber
Wingscrubber 1
There are greater forces at play here, a litte research reveals Volkswagen has just completed a new car plant in the region, traffic through the airport is expected to increase, thus capacity needs to increase - it's a satellite project to a much greater region wide growth scheme.
http://www.chattairport.com/www/docs/4/Chattanooga-Airport-Authority
It's also worth knowing that TAC air owns 14 FBOs compared to Wilsons 4, if anything they're levelling the playing field. It's not like they're putting a mom-and-pop shop out of business, they're giving consumers a choice, they're funding a startup to bust a monopoly at the field. Choice is a good thing and government stimulating economic growth is a great thing - the cost of the subsidy will easily be recovered in time, but to put this little project into perspective, read a little about the 'incentives' that attracted Volkswagen to Chattanooga in the first place;
http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2008/jul/16/chattanooga-vw-incentives-could-top-400-million-ov/
Wingscrubber
Wingscrubber 1
Moreover, the local authority is not the owner of the business, they're subsidizing a private company, if they were taking over the FBO and booting out the original, then that really would be corrupt, but in general the intentions here overall are good, decent, and beneficil to general aviation and the local community.
http://www.acukwikalert.com/ac-u-kwik-fbo-connection/2011/7/12/municipalities-competing-with-private-fbos-fair-or-foul.html
beinsweet85
Christine Lewis 1
You need to look into your information better! Airport Authority does own with FBO and Wilson is just a management company for CMAA. CMAA owns the buildings the equipement the fuel farms, and set the fuel prices. Wilson is paid a fee to put their name on the building to deceive customers!
LearATP
R J 1
Incorrect Wingscrubber, the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority IS the owner of the FBO, and Wilson Air Center manages if for them. This is a well established fact.
Wingscrubber
Wingscrubber 1
In my definition, the management company IS the business... but ok I see your point.
Wingscrubber
Wingscrubber 1
Yes, fair enough they own the property, but they do not own the business, which is what I was trying to point out - Wilson Air is a private for-profit company.
http://www.chattairport.com/www/docs/133.399/chattanooga-airport-chooses-wilson-air-centers-.html
Doesn't matter which way you spin it, this is a good news story, and I want to hear more like this, it seems like it's pretty rare to hear about airport expansions happening, they're normally being shut down or restricted by the NIMBYs. TAC air will survive, this basic premise of this story is no more corrupt than your local city hall awarding a road-repair contract to your local construction company!
calexandy
calexandy 0
I have flown into Chattanooga and visited Wilson Air and they are a first class operation. Competition is good for growth and not necessarily corporate profits. Offer competitive pricing and treat your customers like kings and queens and they will do business with you. Go Consumer!!!
LearATP
R J 3
With all that government money they are getting, they better be a first class operation. Otherwise, the taxpayer would be getting ripped off even more than what they already are!
racerman
larry clement 0
Only the government can p**s away 400K+ for "planning" of a new hangar. My guess is that if TacAir would have had reasonable fuel prices in the first place, there wouldn't be a second FBO .Competition is usually good, but when the competition is the Government using tax dollars, that may not be true.
LearATP
R J 4
My impression is that they have always had reasonable fuel prices, especially when considered next to other major airports in the region.