By Adam Pack
The Greenbrier County Airport Authority met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Mar. 21, to discuss issues surrounding the new entrance sign and the prospect of electrical vehicle charging.
The meeting began with the February financial report from Airport Financial Advisor and interim Director Martha Livesay. Livesay, unfortunately, did not have good news for the Authority. “This month, we did record a loss of $178,000.” The airport usually makes a fair portion of their revenue from the selling of fuel to other airports, but for the month of February the airport “bought $50,000 more than we usually do. This is in addition to the payment of $34,000 in legal fees, as well funds that went to the repair of heating units in the terminal.” Livesay reminded the authority that these numbers are consistent across the industry and are a result of the current economy.
In other news, Beta Technologies recently visited the airport to assess plans to install electric vehicle charging stations. However, these charging stations would not only be for wheeled vehicles. According to engineering consultant John McCalmont of Parrish & Partners, “The plans actually call for the construction of one station for the charging of electrical aircraft and two for electric automobiles.” Beta will be visiting the airport again soon to further the plans to place these stations, as well as meet with a local power company to assess associated costs.
After a long wait, the much-anticipated installation of the new airport entrance sign has been delayed once again. This delay, however, is final, according to Livesey. “I have seen photographic evidence that the sign is in construction, and have commitments that it will be done and placed onto a truck on Mar. 31, will arrive here on Apr. 3, be installed, and stone masonry will be set around it. The stone mason has already agreed to this arrangement. At the conclusion of the stonework, the company will return to complete the wiring.”
The airport will also be engaging in a unique and innovative collaborative effort with Marshall University. Through local CPA Gayle Mason, one student from Marshall University and two from West Virginia University will work together to present a full fiscal feasibility proposal for the building of new hangars at the airport. Livesay also briefed the authority on the issues centering around Contour Air. Since their arrival at LWB, Contour has acquired several other cities and customers have been complaining of delays, cancellations, and lost bags. Livesay said that she spoke directly with CEO Matt Chaefitz, who reported that these issues have “come to his attention” and “he is personally involved in working out these bugs, and that if there are any issues that we can go to him directly and discuss those. I personally feel that Mr. Chaefitz is genuine and wants to work with us.”
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