Council OKs airport agreement

WINNSBORO – County Administrator Jason Taylor announced during Council meeting Monday evening that a lease operating agreement had been signed between the County and Brian Steed to provide both airplane repair services and flight lessons at the County airport. Steed was previously the fixed base operator at the airport in charge of managing the airport and collecting fees on hangar rentals and fuel. He was paid by the County.

Last month Council approved reorganizing the structure of the management of the airport. Under that reorganization, the airport will no longer be under the management of a fixed base operator. Those duties will be handed off to a new airport director who will report directly to the County Administration. Denise Bryan is serving as an interim director while Taylor is currently advertising for a permanent director (see posting on page 11).

The fees that the airport generates yearly, about $61,036, will now be used to cover the $60,000 salary of the new Director.

“We’re bringing the airport back into the County as a department as opposed to leasing or contracting the whole airport out to a fixed base operator.” Taylor said. “We’ll have a manager in house, use all those fees to pay that person’s salary and then rent back space to Brian Steed and treat him more as a vendor and allow him to use space for mechanic services and things like that.”

According to Council’s Request of Action, the airport was deemed to be sub-par in safety levels and overall professionalism by an operational assessment performed in June.