Fort Wayne International Airport is moving forward with a plan to build a fixed-base operator facility, but it hasn’t decided who will manage it.
Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority board members approved a multimillion dollar contract Monday choosing Hagerman Group of Fort Wayne for the design and construction of the project, set to be completed late next year.
A fixed-base operator – commonly called an FBO – is a commercial business granted the right by an airport to operate on the airport and provide aeronautical services such as fueling, hangaring, aircraft rental and maintenance, flight instruction and similar services.
The contract with Hagerman will be between $3.5 million and $4.5 million, subject to final negotiations between the company and Scott Hinderman, executive director of airports.
Two bids were considered: Hagerman’s bid of $3.1 million and Weigand Construction’s bid of $4.8 million.
This project is important for a number of reasons, Hinderman said. Among other things, the new FBO terminal will be the front door to Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana for corporate visitors and other individuals seeing our community for the first time.
The current FBO is managed by Atlantic Aviation and is located adjacent to the terminal on the north side. The new FBO will be built on the west side off of Indianapolis Road, Hinderman said.
Atlantic Aviation has been the airport’s fuel-based operator since the 1980s, but that contract expires Jan. 14, 2016, Hinderman said. The airport will consider three options, including:
Another long-term lease similar to Atlantic’s, subject to competitive bidding
Self-management by the airport itself
The airport is accepting proposals from management consulting companies interested in managing the new FBO. Deadline for proposals is noon Aug. 6.
Atlantic Aviation is expected to compete to retain its position, Hinderman said.
We have had a very long contract with them, and I would certainly hope they would submit a proposal, he said.
Board members are not expected to make a decision on the FBO operator until October, Hinderman said.
The new 12,000-square-foot FBO will serve as a point of emplanement or deplanement for passengers on private jets and planes, private pilot rest and planning areas, state-of-the-art meeting facilities and space for other tenants. The work will include improvements to hangars and support buildings.
We are honored to have been selected to perform this important work for the Airport Authority, said Brad Smith, project manager and vice president of Hagerman Inc. We’re excited to get started and complete the project in the third quarter of 2015.