BROOKSVILLE — Gone is the giant hole that compromised the security fence and threatened to swallow a portion of the side parking lot.
Inside the nearby hangar of Dyenamic Aviation Services, the county's newest fixed-base operator, the dull gray floor that had been marred by divots from a faulty installation is now smooth, white and bright, ready for the big airplanes it will soon house for maintenance.
Out in back of the main office, the aviation fuel pumps are now covered with an insulated roof and surrounded by a berm designed to keep both airplanes and water away from the pumps.
Previously, anyone pumping fuel would have to stand in water and get drenched if there was a downpour. The station is the only one at the airport to offer around-the-clock self-serve fueling for the public.
On the broad concrete pad on the air side, there is a row of Shell aviation fuel trucks near where derelict jets had sat for months.
At the back of the terminal building, the automatic doors are finally sealed to keep out water, and they are working again, although recent swarms of love bugs reportedly have been dense enough to open the doors automatically now and then.
As Bradley Dye finished showing off his new business last week, he made it clear he is ready to serve customers and leave behind the political brouhaha that erupted as he went through the lease process at Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport.
For months, the debate focused on whether the county airport could support a second fixed-base operator, whether the county's Aviation Authority was blocking Dye from leasing space at the airport and whether it was the Aviation Authority or the County Commission that controlled airport operations.
Those are issues for someone else to debate, Dye said.
"We're very pleased we're in business,'' he said. "It's time to focus on business and not politics.''
Dye is vice president and his son, Tony, is president of Corporate Jet Solutions. That is the airplane maintenance company from Clearwater that locked horns with the Hernando County Aviation Authority over getting a lease approved for property previously occupied by Brooksville Air Center. They also tussled over getting the property up to snuff.
The county owns the land and the buildings, and county officials have been working with the Dyes for the past two months to fix the physical problems with the buildings and on the grounds. Most of that work is finished now, and the facility opened to customers several weeks ago.
Dye said he was pleased with the cooperative relationship he forged with the county through the repair process.
A grand opening and open house are slated from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. At noon, the official ribbon cutting will take place with the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce. Entertainment, refreshments and tours are planned.
Dye said it was the company's way of saying thank you to the community for its support.
"We were awarded this lease by the county. While we are a private business, we are here to serve the public,'' Dye said. "The message here is 'thank you' and come and see what it's all about.''
That is in keeping with Dye's focus on customer service. He likens what his staff does to what retail establishments do. If they treat a customer rudely, the customer shops somewhere else in the future.
Dye wants to treat customers so they are eager to return.
Corporate Jet Solutions will remain the name for the airplane maintenance business that workers are already busy transferring from Clearwater.
Everything that falls under the umbrella of the fixed-base operator — the fuel sales, flight school, airplane sales, charters and other services — will be part of the new corporation, Dyenamic Aviation Services.
The additional services will also include arranging rental vehicles, lodging and catering. Baron weather service, wireless capability and pilot supplies will also be available. Hours of operation will be from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.
Already, 10 employees are at work, with that number expected to double by the middle of next month. The flight school will open Oct. 1, with both basic and advanced instruction available.
Barbara Behrendt can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.