Company selected to run Middletown airport has improved others, increased fuel sales

City of Middletown staff believe the Fixed Based Operator (FBO) services agreement at the Middletown Regional Airport works to “professionally manage the airport, promote its resources and promote the airport as an asset” without sacrificing standards and control necessary to increase operations and traffic to the facility.

Middletown City Council agreed with that assessment and voted recently to award the contract to Airport Management Solutions, a company founded in 2010 and based in Nashville.

The company will be paid $70,000 for the one-year contract and there are built-in options for renewal for longer periods of time, according to the contract. The estimated budget for FBO operations for this year is $302,988, the city said.

The current FBO contract with Safe Skies Aviation expires March 31, 2022.

Council voted 4-0 to approve the contract with Mayor Nicole Condrey abstaining because of her affiliation with Team Fastrax, a professional skydiving team based at the Middletown airport.

Last spring, four companies showed interest in operating the airport and they were interviewed by a team of staff and representatives of the airport commission, the city said. Following evaluation, the “overwhelming evaluation” was to proceed forward to negotiate a potential contract with AMS, according to a staff report.

The company maintains FBO services in Tupelo Miss. and Greenville, Miss., and provides airline maintenance to air carriers in Nashville and Greensboro, N.C., according to the city.

Middletown officials said the company has increased fuel sales and improved operations for those airports and they’re looking for the same success.

AMS will manage fuel farm activities, courtesy car services, and will provide the city full assistance with operational concerns, according to city officials.

Matt Eisenbraun. assistant economic development director for the city, said the last two years, operating without a professional management team, the airport has thrived.

He said fuel sales increased 20% in 2020 and 24% in 2021, at a time when other airports struggled during COVID-19. The gallons sold jumped from 159,795 to 196,593 from 2020 to 2021, according to airport documents.

Eisenbraun believes “the sky is the limit” and the airport can become an “economic development asset” for the city.

The airport is trying to attract “major players” in the aviation industry and representatives from NetJets and Wheels Up have flown into the airport and provided feedback to officials, Eisenbraun said.

Airport Management Services will be paid $70,000 to operate the airport, plus compensation per gallon of fuel sold as follows:

  • $0.15 per gallon of fuel sold for all based aircraft.
  • $0.22 per gallon of fuel sold for all gallons up to the volume sold by the FBO in the previous year.
  • $0.25 per gallon of fuel sold for all gallons reflective of 101%-125% of the volume sold by the FBO in the previous year.
  • $0.28 per gallon of fuel sold for all gallons reflective of 126%-150% of the volume sold by the FBO in the previous year.
  • $0.31 per gallon of fuel sold for all gallons greater than 150% of volume of fuel sold by the FBO in the previous year.

SOURCE: City of Middletown

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