On Monday, Aug. 8, the City of Dyersburg Airport Committee convened at 10 a.m. at city hall. All committee members and Mayor John Holden were present.
The committee heard a proposal for development for a private aircraft hangar of Area 9 at the Dyersburg Regional Airport. Greg Williams presented the proposal from Michael and Patrick Heckethorn before the Airport Committee.
The proposed hangar will house four medium-sized aircraft. In the proposal, the Heckethorns would pay all construction costs, site development, and all cost of building maintenance.
There are two options to the proposal. Option A has the Heckethorns, or “The Partnership”, purchasing Area 9 outright for a cost of $50,000. In this option, the Heckethorns would be required to begin construction of a hangar within one year of purchase.
The second option, Option B, would be a 25-year lease on the property. “The Partnership” will lease Area 9 and the building it constructs from the city, and must pay the city $2,000 per year for the 25-year period. At the end of the lease, the building will revert back to the city’s ownership. The Heckethorns would maintain the first right of refusal, if they so choose, for an additional 10 years, with the city’s standard rental space rate per plane per month in the building.
Whether the city opts for Option A or B, per City Board approval, “The Partnership” will pay the city an additional $500 per month throughout the ownership or lease.
Other offers in the proposal include the offer from “The Partnership” to prepay $40,000 for a new aircraft tug for the city. Also “The Partnership” will have the right to lease any available space in the proposed hangar to other aircraft owners. This will only be allowed when the airport is at 100 percent capacity and will be at a rate of 150 percent of comparable hangar space. “The Partnership” will also make an effort to purchase fuel from the city in exchange for a volume discount on fuel purchases (percentage not yet determined).
Patrick Heckethorn, whom is one of the applicants for the proposal, told the committee, “We’re ready to go as soon as it’s OK.” Committee member Bob Kirk said, “[The proposal] looks like a positive thing for the city.” When asked his thoughts on the proposal, Dyersburg Regional Airport Operating Manager Tommy Gibbons stated, “This will set a precedent for things to come. With them building this, other aircraft owners will want to build in Dyersburg.”
Committee member and Chairman Dennis Moody made a motion to present the proposal in next Monday’s Board of Alderman’s meeting, with a second from Bill Escue. The motion carried with all members voting yes.
With no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
“I’m proud of the airport, [it’s] first class,” said Gibbons after the meeting. “The city board has made a lot of improvement. They’ve really stepped up.”
This proposal will be on the agenda for consideration of approval in next Monday night’s Board of Aldermen and Mayor’s meeting.