By BRENDA J. LINERT
VIENNA - Local airport officials and the company that provides ground aviation services like aircraft fueling and maintenance are finalizing terms of a contract that will keep the company operating out of the airport for at least 20 years.
As part of the deal, the Western Reserve Port Authority, the board that oversees the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, will build a $295,000 maintenance garage on the airport property for lease by Winner Aviation of Vienna.
Other terms of the new deal are expected to be finalized in coming weeks, said Dan Dickten, director of aviation for the port authority. The port authority voted unanimously Wednesday to fund the project with a $300,000 loan from Farmers National Bank.
Dickten on Wednesday said he was pleased the deal would keep Winner Aviation at the property. The company is in the second year of a five-year deal, but the new longer-term lease will enable the company to make a bigger commitment for service and growth, he said.
"They want to expand their facilities and services to create a better front door for the community from the airport," Dickten said.
Rick Hale, Winner Aviation president and CEO, said the company is looking forward to continued growth together and in continuing to serve clients at the local airport.
The full-service fixed based operations, or FBO, provides aircraft fueling, maintenance and hangaring at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport. It also offers passenger and crew amenities like flight planning and weather services, ground transportation, reservations, lounges with entertainment and media connections.
In other airport business Wednesday, the port authority voted to undertake phase I of a three-phase parking lot expansion and make paving improvements to other areas of the property.
The parking lot project initially will add about 125 parking spaces to the existing 350. The next two phases would add a combined additional 225 spaces, bringing total parking spaces to 700.
The first part of the project, including paving the area of a new rental car wash facility approved previously along with phase I of the parking lot, lighting, fencing and an automated toll collection machine is estimated at $270,000, Dickten said.
The cost will be covered from parking and concession facility funds and from the general aviation fund.