Airport plan, rent increase get OK


City Manager Tom Homan started the conversation of what he called the future of the Delaware Municipal Airport with its advisory board at a special meeting last week.

Thursday Homan provided the Airport Commission a sample of a strategic plan for King County International Airport in Washington. He wants the board to support the city to develop a smaller scale version for its airport on Pittsburgh Drive.

“There is going to be more interest in that airport,” after the Sawmill Parkway project is done in October, Homan said.

While a goal of the plan is to increase activity, commissioner John Lewis said he wondered what that activity should be.

“I’ve asked this question several times (of) what do we want to be when we grow up,” Lewis said. “Nobody seems to nail it down.”

Commissioner Greg Mellon said the proposal is a change from the city’s previous message of breaking even with the airport.

“We’re seeing a resurgence in the economy,” Homan said.

But leaving the task of marketing the airport to the private sector did not pan out over the past 15 years, said Finance Director Dean Stelzer.

And the plan would help transform the airport into a viable economic development tool for the city, he said.

The commission approved Homan to present an outline of the plan at its next meeting.

  • In other business, the board approved a recommendation to City Council to increase rental rates of T-hangars at the airport by 5 percent next year. The current range is $179 to $405 per month.
  • The commission approved further discussion about future rental increase rates.

Stelzer said the increase would help offset any maintenance costs for facilities at the airport.

By Brandon Klein

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Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.

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