Standel: Supervisors Look to Eliminate Local Jobs through Exclusive Negotiations with Los Angeles Company at Orange County Airport

As a longtime Orange County resident and business owner at John Wayne Airport (SNA), I welcome the attention our County is giving to general aviation at the airport.  Since I started my business, West Coast Charters, we have been employing local residents and providing flight services to small, medium and large businesses throughout Orange County. SNA currently has two full-service Fixed Base Operations (FBOs) that house general aviation companies such as mine.  FBOs act like landlords at the airport for general aviation businesses like mine.  Instead of having aviation maintenance companies, flight schools, charter companies, aviation insurance agents, and other businesses scattered across the airfield, general aviation businesses operate under one-roof, a Fixed Base Operation. While the FBO structures at SNA are still functional, they are long overdue to be upgraded.  Many of the existing structures date back to the 1960’s.  But since the airport is owned by the County, any new construction and upgrades must be approved by the Board of Supervisors. To determine which FBO companies would be given permission to build, operate and manage the updated FBOs, the Board of Supervisors developed and released a Request for Proposals (RFP) on September 12, 2019.  As part of the Board’s approval process, each of the proposals submitted was scored by an independent review panel of aviation experts chosen by the County.  The scoring included: experience, background of financing and developing FBO’s, financial strength, quality of development, management experience and other important factors that will ensure the airport maintains its world-class reputation.