Photo by Hayden Merrill.
KINGMAN – The Director of Economic Development for the Kingman Airport Authority, Robert Riley, has discussed more about the current state of the KAA.
The Kingman Airport Authority has recently come under fire, especially with Kingman City Council members, when it comes to how the KAA is handling two the city’s most valuable establishments, the airport and industrial park. With members of the City Council and the public questioning the financial integrity of the KAA and the state of the properties managed by the KAA, the City Council has begun a series of workshops in order to find some form of a solution to the perceived problem.
Riley, who is also currently acting as the interim Operations and Maintenance Supervisor for KAA, offered a presentation at last Thursday’s workshop on the history and current state of the KAA. The presentation included statistics on the current occupancy of the storage facilities managed by the KAA, and financial summaries of various projects being performed by the KAA.
KAA currently holds 150 general aviation airplanes and 250 commercial planes or stored planes. KAA also leases to roughly 70 businesses between spaces at the airport and industrial park.
Riley said the KAA also “aggressively” pursues several different grants. These grants are obtainable through the KAA’s status as a nonprofit airport — meaning they must invest any income into the airfield or industrial park within five years of obtaining the finances.
The KAA’s available income has made many, including Councilman Travis Lingenfelter, question where this income goes if it must be reinvested into the area within five years.
“Will the KAA provide the City with a comprehensive, specific dollar-for-dollar accounting of what the $10,156,820 of public land sale funds was allocated towards?” Lingenfelter wrote in a recent Facebook post.
While the question has not been answered directly by the KAA, Riley has offered some insight as to what these funds are spent on.
“Mowing, picking up trash — there are all kinds of things to do,” Riley said. “Operations and maintenance are a big part of this field.”
At Thursday’s workshop, Riley also shared details on the KAA’s work with repaving and fixing runways and roads across the airport. This includes complete reconstruction of one taxiway and apron, as well as resurfacing of two runways and one taxiway, all complete between 2011 and 2016. The KAA is also currently in the process of working on the ADOT Pavement Preservation Program to provide crack filling, sealcoat and restriping of another runway.
“Nothing out here is cheap,” Riley said. “A lot of what the funds are used for cannot be seen by the public, because it’s behind gates.”
Although Riley has offered generalizations of what the funds are used for at the KAA, many are not convinced. Council members, including Lingenfelter, have suggested that the city pursues a forensic audit in order to find the “dollar-for-dollar accounting” of the KAA and see where the funds are going.
“Unless they (the city) know what they are looking for, they won’t find anything,” Riley said. “We welcome it.”