Aircraft maintenance returns to Apalachicola airport

Taylor Newman addressed the county commission Dec. 5. Photo available for purchase

Taylor Newman addressed the county commission Dec. 5.

Lois Swoboda
Published: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 02:18 PM.

Apalachicola Regional Airport now employs two fulltime aircraft mechanics.

On Dec. 5, Taylor Newman, CEO of Crystal Air, the firm that became fixed base operator for the airport in October 2012, told county commissioners some changes are in progress at the airport.

He said hangar occupancy has increased from 65 to 80 percent. Newman said Crystal Air is actively seeking a permanent tenant for the large corporate hangar, which is now being leased out on a short-term piecemeal basis for storage of boats, cars and airplanes.

The airport employs certified aviation maintenance technicians John Moore, of Port St. Joe, and B.J. Neshat, of Eastpoint to maintain and repair aircraft.

Newman said use of the airport during the spring and summer was less than expected due to inclement weather, but unusually heavy traffic during the fall helped make up for reduced income during the high season.

County Planner Alan Pierce said Crystal Air would need to take more responsibility for mowing and maintaining airport grounds in the upcoming year because the county could not continue to maintain the grounds.

Newman said additional landscaping is planned for the airport. “We are trying to increase our front porch appeal,” he said.

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