According to board engineer Ken Gilbert, Gadsden is the most recent of several general aviation airports in the region to add self-service. “That was about a $35,000 project, and the state paid for half of it. Not only do they not need to pay an attendant, but fuel sales are up to two or three times what they were, with most of the new sales after 10 p.m.”
The board would not profit from increased fuel sales directly, but the self-service pumps would lower prices and be an added convenience for pilots, who would not have to wait for an attendant.
“I know of at least four or five airports that have put in self-service pumps in the last few years,” Gilbert said. “You all have plenty of space right now. I know there was some controversy in Alabama about information and equipment, but that has all been resolved.
Board Chairman Ray Miller said putting in the new pumps would ultimately be up to NASCAR and the Talladega Superspeedway, which is the airport’s fixed base operator. “We’ll get with (manager) Jim Brock and see what we can do,” Miller said.
The discussion of the self-service pumps evolved out of a discussion of pilot amenities in the terminal, which currently include a lounge and catered food during race weekends.
Also Tuesday, the board:
o Heard Gilbert report that recent cold, wet weather had delayed work on the cargo apron, which he said nonetheless could be finished before the next race.
O Heard Gilbert report that the new sealcoat on the taxiway was also delayed by weather.
O Heard Miller announce that he, Gilbert and some other board members would be traveling to Washington, D.C. early next year to meet with the city’s congressional delegates.
O Approved repairs to fences damaged by downed trees.
O Appointed the nominating committee for board officers for next year.
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