As Gwinnett County officials consider privatizing Briscoe Field as a small airport serving small private aircraft, a citizen committee Tuesday delivered a surprising message: Don’t bother.
By a 5-4 vote, the committee studying the Lawrenceville airport’s fate recommended Gwinnett either continue to operate Briscoe itself or, if it privatizes the airport, to bring in commercial flights. A majority felt privatizing it as a general aviation airport didn’t make sense because the county staff already does an excellent job running it.
The majority also recommended commissioners seek environmental and economic impact studies to help them make the decision.
After a number of hang-ups, county officials called Thursday for proposals to privatize Briscoe Field.
The Gwinnett County Airport has been the center of debate for more than a year because of at least one company’s desire to add passenger service at the Lawrenceville field.
But based on a consultant’s recommendation, Thursday’s request for proposals calls for plans to take over the airport in its current general aviation state, but allowing for a long-term vision that would allow commercial flights.
By Mike Royal
Skeptics of allowing scheduled service flights to Gwinnett County’s Briscoe Field will argue why it can’t work in Gwinnett. I have heard many reasons:
There will be too much noise pollution. I don’t want 787 Dreamliners flying over my home. It is too big a risk for taxpayers and would cost too much to expand the airport. It is too densely populated around the airport, and it will reduce home values by 25 percent. There will be no economic benefit.
On the surface, some of these arguments sound reasonable. However, when the facts are considered, the opposition’s arguments just don’t fly.
An 11-member citizen review panel formed to study the privatization of Briscoe Field held its first meeting Tuesday afternoon.
Infrastructure Management Group (IMG) will provide direction to the advisory group.
Gwinnett County has been tossing around the idea of privatizing the airport for some time now.
The idea sparked controversy from the start.
Full story and link to video after the jump.
On Friday, November 4th, Fly Gwinnett Forward member Jimmy Norton sent the following email to the members of the Gwinnett Board of Commissioners regarding the impartiality of one of the appointees to the Airport Citizens Panel:
Madame Chairman and Commissioners,
I have enclosed a Facebook post (attachment) sent to me which pertains to Fly Gwinnett Forward. This was apparently authored by Airport Citizens Panelist Jim Regan.
It is out with the old and in with the new in the Gwinnett airport debate.
Commissioners voted Tuesday to reject qualifications submitted last year by three companies interested in buying or leasing Briscoe Field. The move does not disqualify the three from a privatization option, but instead opens the field to more candidates in an upcoming proposal process.
- The Great Debate on Briscoe Field
- Consultant: Gwinnett should set aside commercial flights at Briscoe for now
- BOC Will Tackle Privatization Separately From Commercialization At Briscoe
- Opposition Spins Airport Debate
- Gwinnett Administrators Will Meet With Airport Consultant
- Traffic Up At Augusta Regional Airport
- With Less Scheduled Service, Cincinnati Could Lose Business
- Privatization Already Benefits Briscoe Field