BROOKSVILLE — A letter to Hernando County Commission Chairman Dave Russell on Wednesday has placed yet another curve in the road as the commission decides on a lease for the old Brooksville Air Center property at Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport.
American Aviation, the airport's sole fixed-base operator, has pulled its proposal from consideration, leaving just Corporate Jet Solutions of Clearwater vying for the site.
American Aviation cites concerns about the expedited process of picking a company to lease the air center property and the findings in a report that American Aviation commissioned from the Aviation Management Consulting Group.
American Aviation had proposed placing a new flight training program on the site, but the consultant noted it had reservations about the appropriateness of the air center property for that operation.
"American Aviation has identified alternative locations on the company's leased premises and on and off the airport that may be more suitable than the subject property,'' the consultant wrote.
The consultant also raised a series of questions about the proposal submitted by Corporate Jet Solutions, which wants to be the airport's second fixed-base operator. The consultant cited conflicts in Corporate Jet Solutions' numbers and its failure to meet several of the minimum standards required, including full financial disclosure.
The consultant notes that issues regarding the financial status of Corporate Jet Solutions are critical, especially given the recent bankruptcy of company vice president Bradley Dye. He went through Chapter 7 bankruptcy late last year, wiping out approximately $500,000 in debt he shared with his wife.
Tony Dye, Bradley Dye's son, is the owner of the company.
The consultant's report also notes that fuel sales at the Hernando airport are insufficient to support two fixed-base operators and that Brooksville Air Center did not thrive as a fixed-base operator.
The Hernando County Aviation Authority will hear the remaining proposal at 1:30 p.m. today at Brooksville City Hall. The Hernando County Commission will consider the lease at 2 p.m. Friday.
"The veracity of the applicants is the issue here,'' Russell said. "The question is do we have a viable business that can do something the last one couldn't do. The last one failed miserably.''