Marianna Privatizing Airport Operations - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Marianna Privatizing Airport Operations

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The City of Marianna is spending more than one million dollars to give Marianna Municipal Airport a makeover. Construction is scheduled to wrap in the next year and now the Airport Industrial Board is working with the city to find the most efficient way to run the updated facility.

The city budgets around $200,000 a year to run the airport but in order to expand airport profit and use, the Airport Industrial Board feels a for profit company is the way to go. City commissioners are working to lease out fixed base operations or FBO. This includes; aircraft fueling, maintenance, parking services, flight training and more.

Key points in the lease include:

*Full time maintenance service for the aircraft and airport

*Collaboration for an aviation school and flight training with Chipola College

*Percentage of fueling profit goes back to the city

According to City Manager, Jim Dean, privatizing the municipality can be beneficial to the entire county, "We're not just looking at it as some type of maintenance provider, it's what is going to benefit the city and benefit the people in Jackson County. A for profit company has a lot more incentive to grow and expand than a government intently does."

The city is interested in two companies they are looking to lease out. Dean says commissioners are hoping to announce the company they choose by April 1st. The City of Marianna has three employees working at the airport. According to Dean, the workers will be offered any available city positions or possibly work for the new FBO company.