County Seeks New Business With Aviation Plan
By Sherri C. Ranta
The Miami-Dade Aviation Department hopes to land new business with a strategic plan county officials expect to unveil this month.
A brainchild of Commissioner Carlos Gimenez, the plan is to focus on the county’s three general-aviation airports, increasing business from corporate aviation and supporting development around the airports, said Susan Warner Dooley, the county’s assistant director for aviation business management.
Miami-Dade operates three general-aviation airports – Homestead General, Kendall-Tamiami Executive and Opa-locka. Kendall-Tamiami, most used for private and corporate business travel, reported 195,341 flight operations last year.
The strategic plan is expected to be presented May 26 to the County’s Transportation Committee.
"We’re seeking their input," Ms. Warner Dooley said, "so they can give us policy guidance on development of the general-aviation airports."
At the same time, commissioners Barbara Jordan and Natacha Seijas will lead a task force to study development at Opa-locka Airport. The group’s first meeting will be today (5/12) to discuss the growth of corporate aviation and other opportunities that could increase revenue from the facility.
Aviation officials are recommending approval of a long-term lease and two subleases at Opa-locka. Miami Executive Aviation and JP Aviation, two long-time Opa-locka tenants, want approval to begin capital-improvement projects.
Miami Executive’s $7 million proposal is to build a 100,000-square-foot hangar. JP Aviation’s proposal includes a sublease that would allow Turnberry Airport Hangars to build a $10 million facility.
The leases are set to be reviewed Tuesday by the county commission.