City Moves Ahead Without Airport Governance Study

City Moves Ahead Without Airport Governance Study

After a workshop last week related to airport governance, the City of Tallahassee decided not to move forward with a governance feasibility study which was estimated to cost $150,000.

The issue of airport governance, which has been part of the economic development discussion for years, reached a higher since of urgency when the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce requested a review of the current governance model of the City of Tallahassee International Airport (TLH).

The Chamber requested that the City give strong consideration to a separate and independent airport authority in order to provide more competition in air service and increased economic vitality.

In a recent letter to the city commission and other government leaders, Chamber President Sue Dick wrote that the “airport is key to our increased economic vitality and should be viewed as a regional asset…..The structure of the airport as part of the city government presents a number of challenges.”

However, the information provided at the workshop seemed to have convinced city commissioners that current operations and future planning at the airport are moving in the right direction.

After the presentation, City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow said, “I just can’t come to the logical conclusion that the next step would be to dramatically overhaul over seems like we are on the right track.”

Matlow cited the planned future investment, the increase in passenger traffic, and the airport master plan which has been in the works and is due in June.

Matlow made the point that the city is under new leadership, which includes a new city manager and four new city commissioners, and he believes the new leadership should be given a chance to improve the airport.

“I’m not against the airport authority, I’m just against it right now,” Matlow added.

Matlow thanked the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce for keeping the city focused on the issue.

City Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox said “we can see we are trending in the right direction.” She said we need less focus placed on governance and more attention on making the airport an economic driver.

City Commissioner Curtis Richardson was reluctant to move forward without receiving more community input.

The meeting ended without a vote on the recommendation to conduct a feasibility study.

10 Responses to "City Moves Ahead Without Airport Governance Study"

  1. Hope, Exactly! As usual Reese Goad and Wayne Tedder are handing the Commissioners a line, telling them everything is great, when in fact, it isn’t. The airport may be making small, improvements, but is that enough? Redecorating the concourse will not bring more travelers.
    Two years from today the airport will still be struggling and the Commission will wonder why. Important questions:
    Why does the airport director job turn over so often?
    What do the City Manager and Wayne Tedder get out of maintaining a strangle hold over the airport? Do either of them have any experience in airport management?
    If they weren’t going to really consider an airport authority in the first place, why go to the Greenville airport and pretend otherwise. Why not listen to the Chamber?

    It is very disappointing to see the new commission become sheep, following Tedder and Goads lead.

  2. The above article includes the following: “However, the information provided at the workshop seemed to have convinced city commissioners that current operations and future planning at the airport are moving in the right direction.” This can’t be true; the airport has been without a permanent director since October 2017.

  3. They are already on the wrong track thinking the leadership of the city commission and the city manager will solve the airport problems.

    The Airport should drive private businesses but that has not happened because of the city leadership.

    Tallahassee would do well to hire an extremely experienced airport director who has the history of managing strong airports in strong markets.

    We are very close to Atlanta and I’m sure at some point we could get some blow over from there. Why don’t we attempt to get an air traffic control School, more cargo, bringing Canadians back and forth, and a tourism program that would drive every Floridian to visit their capital?

    But, we get City commissioners that have to play airport director, go on junkets and play PR games, and politicians friends using the airport for their private sweetheart deals.

    Matlow terrifies me as he is a progressive socialist Gillum supporter maybe can make a good pizza, but knows nothing about Airport Direction.

    What has Scott Maddox done for the airport, Bill Proctor, Curtis Richardson, Gil ziffer, Nancy Miller, etc etc etc NADA zilch and zero.

    Chick-fil-A was a little diner close to the Atlanta airport and the airport vitality drove that business into what it is today.

    A good airport director can be key into revitalization of the airport area.

  4. If an airport authority was in place tomorrow what would they do differently to cause the airline rates to come down? As bad as the City government is about so many things one thing I do not blame them directly for is airline rates. They do not set those. What the City needs to do is provide a proper avenue for businesses to create things people from out of town would want to come here for things like a zoo (other than the capitol or commission chambers), minor league baseball or aquarium. If an airport authority could do something to cause the airline rates to drop and bring in other airlines then someone tell the City what that is so they can do it.

  5. He is beginning to scare me. To not realize government is not the answer to business problems is an issue. Maybe we should let the city get in the pizza business?

  6. The amazing thing is the flights into and out of Tallahassee are almost always full. Obviously there’s no shortage of people that are willing to pay those fares. Problem is it’s hard to convince a business to locate here when they can locate in another city and save 2/3 on the cost of business travel…

  7. My question is why is it more expensive to fly to Tallahassee to any Caribbean countries then any airport up north?? This doesn’t make any sense. The fly mileage is wayy less smh

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