By Van Mitchell
Special to The Sun
The Guthrie-Edmond Regional Airport board learned Tuesday that a Guthrie-based aerial security company wants to negotiate terms to build a new commercial development hangar for its growing business.
Jeff Richardson with Guardian Aerial Patrol told the board that his company wants to build a 100x100 hangar to house its six Cessna airplanes. The company, which employs seven people, flies security for oil and gas pipeline inspections from Brownsville, Texas, to near the Canadian border in Minnesota.
“Our company is going nowhere,” Richardson said. “Our business is centered in Guthrie. This business is growing by leaps and bounds from where we started five years ago. Every day I have airplanes flying in and out of Guthrie.”
Richardson said his company was looking at a 30-year lease with two additional 10-year leases and paying 20 cents a square foot for rent space instead of the standard 25 cents a square foot GERA charges.
Board members questioned whether they could legally make such an adjustment especially when money from any new hangar lease would go to pay back an $185,000 loan from the Edmond Economic Development Authority for airport infrastructure improvements.
The board took no action on the matter but Guthrie City Manager Sereniah Breland suggested that GERA manager Justin Heid negotiate terms with Richardson and bring the issue back as an agenda item at the board’s October meeting.
Board members also learned from Heid that the airport has been receiving numerous inquiries about any 50x50 hangar space availability.
“We have received a lot of requests for 50x50 hangars,” Heid said. “We have used up every plotted piece of property for use.”
Heid said the airport has land available for future hangar development but there is no design plan for such a project.
Heid said he would work with the airport’s hangar committee to work out plans for future development ideas and present it at the next board meeting.
In a related hangar matter, a committee was appointed to work on marketing efforts promoting GERA’s corporate hangar projects. Those appointed were Edmond board member Richard Geib, Guthrie board member Kerry Owens, Heid, Kay Wade of the Logan County Economic Development Authority, Janet Yowell, executive director of the Edmond Economic Development Authority, and Cody Mosley from the City of Guthrie.
In his airport manager’s report Heid told the board that progress is continuing in the Northwest Development area and flyash and soil stabilization will be next in the current construction schedule.
Heid said the self-serve credit card fuel machine is expected to be fully operational by Thursday and the 2013 GERA Community Day will be Sept. 21. He said participants that day will include a variety of aircraft including the helicopter from KWTV Channel 9 in Oklahoma City.
Board members also expressed their gratitude to Breland and City of Guthrie employees who helped ready the town for last weekend’s Mumford and Sons Gentlemen of the Road music festival, which brought more than 30,000 people to Guthrie.
“It was a smashing success,” said Rowland Denman, GERA board chairman from Edmond. “A lot of people put time and effort into it. They should be given a round of applause.”