Council approves FBO contract for airport

The Morristown City Council on Tuesday awarded an amended contract for the fixed-based operator at the Morristown Municipal Airport to Morristown Air Service, the same company that’s had the contract for 19 years.

Under the terms of the five-contract, MAS, which is owned by Morristown businessman Ben Williamson, will pay city government $10,000 a month to serve as the FBO. Williamson will retain all revenues generated from city-owned hangars and all profits from jet fuel and avgas, aviation fuel used in piston-powered aircraft engines.

The hangars rent from $260 to $290 per month, according to Assistant City Administrator Joey Barnard, whose duties include airport supervision.

In the former agreement, MAS received half the money generated by hangar rentals, and paid city government a 30-cents-per-gallon fee for jet fuel and 20 cents for avgas.

The new contract gives city government more authority than the former contract. If city officials perceive that routine tasks like mowing, building maintenance or providing adequate customer service are not being performed properly, city government has the authority to do the work itself and bill MAS, according to Barnard.

“It’s a better contract,” Barnard said. “There’s more accountability with a flat fee.

Morristown Flying Service, which is owned by J.B. Marshall, will continue to be responsible for the flight school and aircraft maintenance.

In other business on Tuesday, councilmembers approved a $48,360 change order to Merit Construction for the City Center plaza and garage project, bringing the total to approximately $2.7 million, which is still slightly lower than the original estimate.

The five councilmembers present at Tuesday’s meeting voted unanimously to accept Mayor Gary Chesney’s nomination of David Wild for a seat on the Morristown Utility Commission. Wild will replace long-time commission member Harold Nichols.

Chesney appointed Amy Hancock to fill the unexpired term of Sylvia Hinsley on the Morristown Regional Airport Commission. Hinsley and her husband, Kelly Hinsley, are moving to North Carolina. Hancock will serve on the commission at least until March 2024.