N.Y. Airport Study Recommends Privatization

 - April 7, 2014, 4:45 AM
County-owned and -operated Dutches County Airport is New York State's third busiest general aviation airport

An independent study commissioned by New York’s Dutchess County recommends the county privatize its airport, the third busiest general aviation facility in the state in terms of operations and based aircraft. The airport, which has a 5,000-foot main runway, is owned and subsidized by the county. The report compared the airport to those of similar size–Connecticut’s Danbury Municipal and Waterbury-Oxford Airports, Lawrence Municipal Airport in Massachusetts, Reading Regional Airport in Pennsylvania, and Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport in Janesville, Wis.–and found that Dutchess County was the only one to own and operate its own FBO.

A second FBO, Richmor Aviation, left the airport last year after more than 30 years of service. The study found the airport FBO is operating at a $300,000 deficit and suggests the county prepare an RFP to solicit a privately operated FBO, as it is “challenged in offering the full suite of FBO services necessary to achieve profitability.” It also recommended the development of an airport-focused marketing plan to further increase business.