Pilot’s Group Plans Lift-off for Nonprofit-run Airport

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March 10, 2012; Source: Appeal-Democrat

At California’s Sutter County Airport, pilot and airport advisory committee member Joe Borzorelli called a meeting this past week to rally pilots, aircraft owners and other interested parties to save the general aviation airport. The airport, which has been in financial trouble, is under the direct management of the county, which charges what some see as being excessive management fees. The proposal is to organize a nonprofit to manage the airport. The county will still own it but will lease it to the new entity. Chuck Smith, a county spokesman, says, “The idea is people who are closer to the operation may be able to make the operation less expensive.”

The endeavor is modeling itself after a similar operation in Turlock, where the local airport was transferred to a nonprofit 12 years ago and has been able to achieve a healthy financial state. The group in Sutter plans to become a chapter of the Pilot’s Association, the goal of which is to preserve, protect and promote general aviation airports. –Ruth McCambridge