Initiated by the City of Plainview and Hale County, Texas, this project aimed to acquire hangars from Rocket Aviation, the current Fixed Base Operator at Hale County Airport. The purchase was financed via a blend of TxDOT non-primary entitlement grants of $150,000 annually for four years, and supplementary funds from the City/County.

R.A. Wiedemann & Associates was charged with creating an RFP for an Airport Operator and investigating various operational scenarios. Options examined included:

  • The Fixed Base Operator (FBO) model, wherein an updated operating agreement would entail revised duties for the FBO post-hangar divestment.
  • An Airport Authority model, involving City/County employee operation, was also considered, with the Authority employing a professional airport manager to oversee facility operations, fuel sales, hangar rentals, and maintenance.
  • A Hybrid Model, proposing that the Airport Authority could manage the terminal, fueling operations, and hangar rentals, while one or more Specialized Aviation Service Operators (SASOs) might maintain their roles as maintenance-focused operators with room for other business endeavors.

Financial implications for the Airport Sponsor under each model were projected. Given the intricacies, pro formas with cross-utilization elements of each model were developed. The RFP, crafted by RAWA, was posted in the AAAE Newsletter, yielding two responses. R.A. Wiedemann & Associates supported the Airport Sponsor in forming selection criteria. In 2023, the City sought help enforcing Minimum Standards for FBOs. RAWA conducted inspections and assisted in rectifying non-compliance issues.