Greenwood Airport is looking to continue its recent growth by attracting more corporate jet activity. Airport Director Lori Curless says the facility is eliminating landing fees and allowing companies to enter into contract fuel programs. The initiatives are the latest moves aimed at beefing up business at the airport, which Curless has an annual economic impact of more than $27 million on the city. She says the facility has already seen 50 percent increases in operations and fuel sales for the first two months of the year compared to 2015.
The airport says contract fuel rates allow companies to lock in a set price over a period of time, allowing them to save money and better plan for expenses. So far this year, the facility says businesses have purchased about 5,000 gallons of jet fuel through the program.
The Greenwood Airport houses six companies, including aircraft mechanics, flight schools and aircraft sales. Curless says the facility is self-sustaining and does not receive any tax dollars for operations. She says ongoing and future projects, including a runway extension and more aircraft parking space, are necessary because it is running out of space.
In a release from the airport, Greenwood City Councilor Linda Gibson said, "Greenwood Airport is in the midst of several exciting changes. In addition to the elimination of landing fees and the contract fuel program, the airport has recently expanded pilot amenities and will soon feature new corporate hangars. It is a wonderful asset for the city, and we will continue to seek every option to ensure the airport remains competitive in the market."
The growth at the airport reflects continuing economic momentum in other parts of the city. In October, Mayor Mark Myers said a planned $90 million development near I-65 would succeed, where other proposals have failed. The plans from Gershman Partners includes 700,000 square-feet of retail, dining and entertainment space that could open as early as next year.
Curless says the airport is looking to the future with long-term improvement plans.