By Greg England
January 6, 2011
Members of the Upper Cumberland Regional Airport Board heard a proposal, at the Jan. 4 meeting, that would expand the airport’s services available at the facility.
Charles McGauhey, owner of Mack Air, LLC, presented the Board with a proposal to become a Specialized Aviation Service Operator, or SASO, at UCRA.
With Board approval, Mack Air would be the second such operation that offers specialized repair and maintenance services to airport clients and other aircraft owners, as well as use facilities at UCRA to service those clients.
John Keigan, who has already been offering his expertise in repair and maintenance at the airport, will continue to offer his services and will begin sharing a portion of the hangar used by the airport’s fixed base operator, Region Air.
Part of McGauhey’s proposal includes his leasing of Hangar Two that he plans on utilizing in his operations, which has been in existence for approximately 10 years.
“Shelbyville is where I started,” said McGauhey. “I’ve had a shop at Smithville for a while and I’ve had one at McMinnville twice. And I think it’s time to expand again. This would be a good operation here for me because I draw a lot of business from Knoxville or from Gatlinburg. I’m looking to expand east – east of where I am now.”
He explained some of his business at UCRAwould also come from existing clients located in various areas outside of Tennessee.
Board members received information about various functions of his services as they relate to Commercial Minimum Standards recommended by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Board also discussed advantages and disadvantages of two SASOs being at one facility.
Keigan stated UCRA is not large enough to support just one SASO. He explained they would have to draw from outside clients.
“What you’re gonna have is two businessmen competing to bring in more pilots and more aircraft,” said Keigan.
He told the Board he believed the addition of Mack Air would be good for the airport, and would welcome the new SASO to the facility.
The Board discussed the synergy of the two SASOs and the potential for a positive impact for Region Air through increase fuel sales, as well as return on investment for UCRA through hangar leasing and the promotion and cross marketing of the airport.
A committee was formed, including Airport Manager Jim Kmet, along with Hoyte Jones, and Will Roberson, to review the proposal and bring their findings to the Board at the next regular meeting.
The UCRA Board meets the first Tuesday of each month, at 5 p.m. in the conference room at the airport terminal.
Source: THE EXPOSITOR