By Kenny Green
The Mesquite Metro Airport is about to renovate one of its older structures that is the primary home of its flight school. According to city officials, the structure is in disrepair and needs the renovations to continue to use the facility as a leased space for the flight school.
“The flight school has used the old terminal building at the airport,” said Jerry Dittman, assistant city manager. “The building has never been renovated and it’s in exceptionally bad shape.”
He said the city’s renovation plans are to gut the existing building and redo the inside of the facility.
“We can’t even get anyone to service the air-conditioning unit anymore because they can’t get to it,” Dittman said.
The funding for the project will come from the Mesquite Quality of Life Corporation’s budget. The city plans to use the leftover portion of funds allocated in last year’s airport budget in addition to funds allocated for airport improvements in next year’s budget to complete the renovation.
“I think we have a good multiphase process for getting that facility up to speed,” Dittman said.
Cynthia Godfrey, airport manager, said the flight school is an integral part of the city’s airport.
“If there is no flight school then people aren’t going to have a reason to come to the airport,” Godfrey said.
She said the airport relocated the flight school to a smaller building on the south end of the airport until the renovation project can be completed.
“We are losing money by having to move them there,” Godfrey said. “We used t have two flight schools at the airport but the other closed about one and a half years ago when the owner became ill with Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”
The flight school has been displaced for the last 10 to 11 months in the smaller facility, which has decreased its visibility at the airport.
“There are invisible right now. It is important we get this facility renovated,” Godfrey said.
Godfrey said the flight school adds 100 to 200 new students per year and purchases more than 10,000 gallons of fuel from the airport.
Once the terminal building is renovated the airport will enter into a new lease agreement, which Godfrey estimates will be approximately $1,800 to $1,900 per month.
“We were getting $1,300 a month for the building. The new lease will probably be around $1,800 to $1,900 per month,” Godfrey said. “In the past the leases were typically one year but they have indicated they would like to enter into a long term lease.”