Jetport talks about events, funds needed
by Joyanna Love Banner Senior Staff Writer
Feb 23, 2014 | 794 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print

A contract is being worked out to bring Gotham Dream Cars to the Cleveland Regional Jetport this summer.

Jetport Director Mark Fidler said the exotic sports car event wanted to come June 6 through 8 and Aug 28 through Sept 1.

Lynn DeVault, secretary for the Cleveland Airport Authority, said she wanted a cancellation clause added to the contract to allow them to cancel the second event if the first one is not a success.

Fidler and the airport authority had concerns about trying to have an event on Labor Day weekend.

The event would pay $2,500 per day to the airport for using the facility and then charge riders to use the track.

The company gives people the chance to experience exotic sports cars in a specialized course. Fidler said the track could set up on the nine-acre tarmac.

The Cleveland Airport Authority voted to postpone a decision on whether to have the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation come to the jetport.

Board members had concerns the event might not draw the 150 riders required. If fewer riders participated in the flights, the jetport would be required to pay the difference in revenue between what was brought in and the projected revenue from 150 riders to the organization.

DeVault suggested having sponsors for the event.

The Cleveland Regional Jetport is looking for more sponsors to support it after pledges have come in lower than expected.

Total pledges reach an estimated $311,400, and approximately $145,000 in pledged donations have been received.

“We need to do more because our goal is to raise our shortfall from building the terminal,” DeVault said.

The needed funds total about $1 million. Developing a new fundraising letter was discussed.

The future of the Hardwick Field land was also discussed, Vice Chairman Verrill Norwood gave an update on how close they were to selling the property.

“We are waiting on the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] to send us a letter releasing the land,” Norwood said.

He said he was in favor of doing a reserve auction to sell the land. State requirements dictate that each piece of land sold as part of the auction must be sold at the appraised value.

Norwood expressed concern they might not be able to do this for all the parcels.

“If you have a piece that sold for three times what the appraisal was, you can’t use that excess to sell another piece below,” Norwood said.

A way around this would be to do a wrap bid, DeVault said.

Fidler said someone had stolen the plaque recounting the history of the field from Hardwick. An incident report has been filed with the police.

He said locks were on the gates to the field, but some of the hangar owners hadn’t been locking it after they leave.

Board member Leroy Rymer Jr. asked if there were plans to install more tie downs for small transient planes at the Jetport.

Taylor Newman, director of operations for fixed based operator CrystalAir Taylor, said only half of the tie-downs were being used on a regular basis.

Fidler said more tie downs could be added as needed when funds become available.

Work is also progressing toward the 700-foot runway extension at the Jetport.

Fidler is always preparing a document of justification for the extension request. This will be sent to the state for consideration. The jetport has sent plans to the city and the state outlining future plans for development.

The airport authority also asked Fidler to develop a snow plan to determine how the runway would cleared and planes de-iced.