Aviation Commission members recommended for another term

Drs. Mayher, Gillespie get unanimous support of Aviation board members

ALBANY — The Albany-Dougherty Aviation Commission decided to keep its membership intact Monday, unanimously voting to recommend to the Albany City Commission that Aviation Commission Chairman Dr. William Mayher and commissioner Dr. Charles Gillespie remain on the seven-member panel.

The pair’s most recent term on the commission expired at the end of June.

“The deadline for applications was July 9, and there were no new applicants,” Southwest Georgia Regional Airport Director Yvette Aehle said before the vote.

Mayher asked Aehle about progress on the airport’s planned vending build-out project in its new $10 million terminal building, and the director said a bid opening was to be held late Tuesday. She said two contractors had purchased plans for the project.

“My hope is that both builders bid on the project,” Aehle said. “If we receive only one bid, we must get the city manager’s permission to open that bid. That could potentially delay the process.”

New interim City Manager Tom Berry, who was attending his first Aviation Commission meeting, was informed of the circumstances surrounding the bid opening.

Aehle also told the board the airport was nominated for the Willie F. Card Award for excellence in Air Traffic Control.

“We didn’t win the award, but we were a semifinalist,” she said. “I think it speaks well for the airport that we were considered for the award.”

During her June financial report, Aehle noted that air freight at the airport’s UPS terminal “continued its downward trend” during the month.

“UPS has been adamant in assuring us that we’re not the only airport where air freight is down,” she said. “They say it’s a worldwide issue.”

Aehle also reported that the airport had experienced one weather cancellation during June and that it had finished the 2014 fiscal year with income beyond what had been projected and with expenses at around 93 percent of budgeted projections.

“There are still a few bills out,” she said, “but I’m proud to say that our staff has worked hard to keep our expenses under our budget.”