Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport Eyes New Development, Revenues

July 29, 2022

Jul. 29—JENKINS TWP. — Carl Beardsley, executive director at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport, Thursday told the Bi-County Airport Board that there is "lots of acreage" available that may now be able to be developed since the Aviation Council of Pennsylvania recently approved the Airport Land Development Zone program.

In his report, Beardsley said the ALDZ program "incentivizes development on vacant land and buildings owned by all public use airports and leased to private businesses."

"This could increase our revenues significantly," Beardsley said. "And it could spur economic growth over the long-term."

Beardsley also reported:

—Pennsylvania is home to 122 public use airports and 14 commercial airports.

—A report released by PennDOT in 2019 indicates that aviation represents 322,965 jobs and a total economic impact of $28.5 billion.

—Developers would receive a $2,100 per job tax credit for each net-new job created in Pennsylvania each year for a maximum of 10 years.

"This is a brand new program," Beardsley said. "It could offer many opportunities if we are successful."

Beardsley said the acreage will be approved on a first-come/first-saved basis until the program cap is reached.

In other business, the board:

—Heard the financial report of Gary Borthwick, Assistant Airport Director, whip recommend the Airport Board ratify the invoices and payments from May in the amount of $1,367,513.20, which included $880,069.33 in construction invoices.

Borthwick said for the month of June 2022, Airport Operations had a net gain totaling $71,768, compared to a net loss of $240,929 in June 2021, a difference of $312,697. Year to date, Airport Operations had a net loss of $467,548, compared to a net loss of $1,583,184 in 2021, a difference of $1,115,636.

—Approved personnel resignations, appointments and promotions.

Resignations: Brian Tuberion, Mountain Top; Jason Jenkins, Avoca; Teddy Catino, Drums.

Appointments: All in maintenance department,Pietro Cupelli, Covington Township; Kory Kish, Hughestown; Eric Smith, Plymouth; David Snyder, Old Forge.

to Maintenance 2 positions upon confirmation of airport clearances.

Promotions: Jared Whittaker, Nanticoke, to the position of ARFF Supervisor, effective

immediately; Brian Russo, Avoca, to the position of 3rd Shift Supervisor, effective immediately.

—Approved an agreement with Aviation Technology, Inc., the Fixed Based Operator (FBO) for the airport. As the Fixed Based Operator (FBO), Aviation Technologies provides aircraft maintenance, deicing services, aircraft storage and avionics repairs.

The agreement between Aviation Technology, Inc. and the Bi-County Airport Board commenced in August 2013. Since that time, there have been some changes in the industry that has created the need for updates. These changes are summarized in the attached documents.

Future changes can be made to this agreement in the future at the discretion of the Airport Board working with Airport Executive Director.

The board authorized amending the FBO Agreement to include newly detailed language.

—Heard Beardsley's report on passenger activity. Passenger enplanements for the month of June 2022 increased 27.9% to 17,272 from 13,505 in the month of June 2021. Enplanements for June 2022 compared to enplanements for June 2020 increased by 11,715 or 210.8%.

In June 2022, 21 departing flights were cancelled: 8 for ATC/weather; 1 for maintenance; 2 for no crew; 10 for airline initiated (unknown reason). This accounts for 1,800 (8.3%) out of a total 21,600 departure seats. Also, 18 arriving flights were cancelled: 9 for ATC/weather; 1 for maintenance; 2 for no crew; 6 for airline initiated (unknown reason).

Reach Bill O'Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.


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