PITTSTON TOWNSHIP – Members of the bi-county airport board voted unanimously on Thursday morning to award a 15 year fixed base operation contract to a new company.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport Director Barry Centini told Newswatch 16 that Aviation Technologies was selected from five bidding companies, to handle most of the refueling, de-icing, maintenance and flight instructor responsibilities through 2028.
“Sometimes you need this to propel and build the airport to where we would like to see it,” said Centini. “It would hurt me to see people lose their jobs. We have to look at it as doing the best for the airport.”
The President of Aviation Technologies told Newswatch 16 that this will be the company’s first airport fixed base operation contract, and that 21 of the 34 employees have already been hired from the current contractor, Saker Aviation.
“”We`ve been providing these types of services on a contract basis across the country for about a decade and a half,” said Jim Gallagher. “So really, we`re now hiring ourselves to be the fueler, instead of someone else.”
Gallagher said his company will bring in more revenue for the airport.
According to the contract, Aviation Technologies said it plans on increasing jet fuel and hanger fees.