MICHAEL J SMITH FIELD AIRPORT

BEAUFORT — The Carteret County-Beaufort Airport Authority has awarded a contract to Crystal Coast Aviation to remain the fixed-base operator at Michael J. Smith Field Airport for at least another five years.

The decision followed a special closed session meeting of the airport authority Sept. 16. Crystal Coast Aviation has been the airport’s FBO for several years and was previously operating on a one-year contract extension that expired Wednesday, Interim Airport Manager Jesse Vinson told the News-Times.

The new contract will be month-by-month until a final contract can be formally executed. Mr. Vinson said details of the contract, including cost, cannot be publicly disclosed until negotiations are complete and attorneys from both parties have agreed to the terms.

“(The contract) was subject to final negotiations and clarifications, we’ll discuss that in closed session,” Chairperson Pat Joyce said during the authority’s regular meeting Sept. 24.

The new contract will last for five years, with the option to renew for another five years. Mr. Vinson said four companies initially submitted bids to be considered for the FBO, but two dropped out due to the coronavirus pandemic. The other company that submitted a bid was Lifestyle Aviation.

“I just wanted to thank all of you for the trust you’ve put in us in renewing (the contract),” Crystal Coast Aviation owner Jim Seagraves said Sept. 24. “…We’ll do our best to make you proud of the decision you made there and earn that trust every single day.”

One of the roles of an FBO is to provide fueling services if an airport doesn’t have its own fuel tanks. The airport has been leasing fuel tanks from Crystal Coast Aviation, an agreement that will come to the end once construction is complete on a permanent, airport-owned fuel farm around mid-February.

Mr. Vinson said at that time, Crystal Coast Aviation will be responsible for removing its fuel tanks from the airport. The FBO will continue to facilitate fueling, along with other services for the airport, including maintenance, air tours and flight instruction.

 

Contact Elise Clouser at elise@thenewstimes.com; by phone at 252-726-7081 ext. 229; or follow on Twitter @eliseccnt. 

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