A new direction for regional airport

Taylor Newman owner of CrystalAir.

Taylor Newman owner of CrystalAir.

Lois Swoboda
Published: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 10:42 AM.


After a year of turmoil, it appears that the Apalachicola Regional Airport is finally back on track.

In February, on the recommendation of the airport advisory board, the county commission decided it would seek bids for a new fixed base operator (FBO) for Apalachicola ’s airport. The contract with Apalachicola International Airport Training Center (AIATC) expired Feb 1, but commissioners granted AIATC a three month extension. Bill Ruic, CEO, who had acted as FBO for 20 years would remain in control until May 1.

On Feb 21, the commission voted 3-1 to award the FBO contract to Fly High of Lexington, NC. Commissioner Noah Lockley opposed and Bevin Putnal was absent. The commission directed County Attorney Michael Shuler to enter into negotiations with Fly High.

AIATC took fruitless legal steps attempting to block the change.

When commissioners quarreled with Fly High over the terms of the lease, Fly High withdrew their offer and the commission found itself without a new FBO as the clock ticked.

In March, two more firms offered proposals to run the airport. Both claimed to have extensive plans for refurbishment and promised to bring new jobs to the area.

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