New Gary airport tenant causes Boeing concern
By Michelle L. Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent May 13, 2013 4:18PM
GARY -- The Gary/Chicago International Airport will get its second fixed-based operation as long as one of its biggest tenants and it can agree on certain issues.
Al Stanley, vice president with airport consultant JClark Aviation, told the Airport Authority at its Monday meeting that the company has reached an agreement with Chicago-based East Lake Management and Development Corp. to bring the FBO to the airport. The agreement would also see East Lake take over the management of the airport’s 60 T-hangars.
Boeing Corp., however, has concerns over its own safety and security if the deal proceeds. East Lake, which will likely cater to larger aircraft than Boeing’s, will build its new hangar on two acres adjacent to Boeing, with an option to expand to a third acre.
While East Lake builds its hangar, it’ll share an apron and taxiway with Boeing, which is a concern, Stanley said.
Boeing’s lease expired in April, though it does have a month-to-month provision in it while it renegotiates with the airport, Stanley said.
The authority split the agreement into three votes -- one for the Jet Select hangar lease agreement, one for the T-hangar agreement and one for the East Lake ground lease. The Jet Select and East Lake ground lease agreements received 7-0 votes; the T-hangar management agreement vote passed 6-1, with Porter County member Nikki Thorn casting the dissenting vote.
The FBO agreement is a 20 year-lease that will cost East Lake 44 cents per square foot, or $76,660 per year. It also stipulates East Lake will pay $3 million to build its hangar and will start building it within six months of signing the agreement, with 24 months to complete it, Stanley said.
If East Lake doesn’t complete the hangar within the 24 months, the airport has the authority to allow it to rectify the situation, Stanley said.
The 14-year T-hangar lease, meanwhile, will give East Lake day-to-day management of them for a 20 percent management fee, Stanley said.
With regard to the LOI with the Federal Aviation Administration, where the airport is asking for an additional $24 million toward the runway expansion, Stanley told the authority the agency has asked for more information with respect to community funding sources.
In other business, Frank Deveau, a partner with Cincinnati-based Taft Stettinus and Hollister, told the authority the Environmental Protection Agency will issue a “comfort letter” regarding the slurry wall at the west end of the NBD property while the final details of the agreement are completed.