Opportunities Land at Tallahassee Airport

Opportunities Land at Tallahassee Airport

$145 Million in Private Investment Could Create Over 1,500 Permanent Jobs, Generate Millions in Revenue

On Wednesday, June 22nd, the Tallahassee City Commission heard a brief presentation from Tallahassee Airport Executive Director David Pollard related to two private investment projects seeking to conduct business at the Tallahassee airport.

According to estimates, the proposed projects could generate $145 million in private investment and create over 1,500 jobs.

Mayor John Daily said that he is “extremely excited about both of these projects…This is what we have been dreaming of for 3 ½ years.”

City Commissioner Matlow was more reserved in his comments. Matlow said, “I will save my compliments for when the item comes back to the commission for approval.”

The City Commission voted unanimously to allow city officials to begin negotiations with the interested parties. Any agreement would come back to the city commission for review and approval.

The largest project – labeled Project Alpha – is subject to a non-disclosure agreement which was signed by the City of Tallahassee on June 30, 2021.
Mr. Pollard revealed at the meeting that the project is related to the commercial aircraft disassembly, dismantling, and recycling market.

The Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association estimates that over the next 20 years approximately 12,000 commercial aircraft will be retired and decommissioned. The process involves disciplines related to the environmental, safety, legal, operational and economic aspects of the aircraft. According to reports, this industry sector size was $4.57 billion in 2019 & is projected to reach $5.40 billion by 2027.

Project Alpha officials propose to lease approximately 57 acres of Tallahassee Airport property for the development of approximately 583,250 square feet of aircraft facilities. The development will provide approximately $110,000,000 of private investment and will result in over $30,000,000 of additional revenue to the airport during the term of the agreement.

In addition, the project would result in the creation of approximately 524 direct, 235 indirect and 226 induced jobs, for a total of 985 permanent jobs and over 1,000 temporary construction jobs during the development with a total economic impact exceeding $450 million, as projected by Florida State University’s Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis.

The company behind Project Alpha is working closely with the Office of Economic Vitality and Space Florida to take advantage of financing and tax incentive opportunities.

The second project is related to Burrell Aviation, LLC.

Tallahassee Reports first reported about Burrell Aviation’s interest in the Tallahassee airport back in March. The business model of the Apsen, Colorado based company calls for entering into long-term leases, typically 30 to 50 years, with municipally owned airports.

Burrell Aviation Tallahassee, LLC is proposing to lease approximately 32 acres of airport property and to construct approximately 388,000 square feet of facilities. The project consists of a proposed mixed-use development that includes general aviation, maintenance repair and overhaul, and air cargo / freight distribution facilities.

The development is expected to provide approximately $35,000,000 of private investment and result in over $14,000,000 of new revenue to the Tallahassee Airport during the term of the agreement.

In addition, the proposed development would result in the creation of approximately 489 direct, 100 indirect and 149 induced jobs, for a total of 738 permanent jobs and over 400 temporary construction jobs during the development with a total economic impact exceeding $140 million, as projected by Florida State University’s Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis.

16 Responses to "Opportunities Land at Tallahassee Airport"

  1. “Secrecy” is necessary when competitively negotiating for contracts. It doesn’t have to default to a corruption.

    NOT saying that our local government is free of corruption, mind you, just that confidentiality clauses are Standard Operating Procedure for competitive contract negotiations.

  2. Yes and after the salvage they’ll be leftovers nobody wants. 700,000 acres of national Forest right out the back door…. Dumping ground.
    Or how about a artificial reef program.

  3. It’s a publicity stunt so these fools can keep their jobs. Secrecy? Please. TLH cannot maintain any new air service cargo or passenger. The entire thing is fishy. More corruption in Leon county government than in any state in the USA.


  4. Mr. Hawkins, federal grant assurances require that all money raised at the airport be also spent at the airport. The last time I had personal knowledge, the amount TLH charged the airport to provide utilities, administration, overhead (basically a huge mark up of the actual value of those things required by the airport and set unilaterally) was already at amounts that were nearly indefensible. What it could mean is a reduction in landing fees and the tax that comes from passengers, making it slightly less expensive to fly out of TLH.

  5. Curious about why Tallahassee? The main draw is the airports proximity to I-10 and a quick path for material out of the area.

    As for toxic materials, Tallahassee lefties used to talk a big environmental talk (remember Pre-development Buck lake and the Munson Slough areas?). Tallahassee will sweep everything under the rug these days.

    All and all, I agree that neither of these projects will see the light of day.

  6. When they announce Lockheed, Boeing, or SpaceX I will take notice. Their secretive desperate actions impress no one. We have seen a hastily put together Performing Arts and a $27 million giveaway that was decided in 9 days so they could have a return on their investment (using our tax dollars) in the form of campaign contributions.

    This mayor has done nothing but run his re-election campaign since the day he was elected misusing his office to do so. Go look in at the last City Commission meeting and see him dismiss the Congolese; fails to address the housing crisis, the crime crisis, the fentanyl crisis, but is always ready to give away our tax dollars to his special interests.

    He is not concerned about any infrastructure or water quality, but overpays those top tier positions at City Hall to cushion his fiefdom.

    And his toady City Manager Reese Goad was a good employee back in the day in utilities, but corruption came calling and they wanted an insider as city manager to cover up and continue the corruption.

    Sadly, our Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, special interests, and the Seminole BOOsters don’t have a moral compass and these forces work against taxpayers.

  7. The aircraft coming in for retirement decommissioning will NOT be leaving via a runway, rather, in parts on trucks. Probably no discernible difference for commercial traffic patterns. May generate more general aviation traffic, and likely to result in a dozen 18-wheelers leaving the plant each day. Even that won’t be discernible for most of us.

    Sounds like good jobs!

  8. @ JP : My guess will be, “Not Much” considering there are not really that many Flights Coming and Going.

  9. I can see other Businesses attaching themselves to this Project of Plane Recycling, you need someone to dispose of the Hazardous Fluids and other Companies to take away the other non Recyclable Materials.

    My question IS: With all the Money coming into the Airport from these two Projects, will you begin taking our Tax Dollars from the Airport and Direct it to other needed areas?

  10. @ Pat A,

    Agreed 100%!

    I believe all the secrecy is due to it is a publicity stunt for a desperate incumbent mayoral candidate and a desperate city manager whose jobs are on the line.

    @ TR Staff…

    What is the picture in the article in reference to? Alpha, Burrell, Bowing?

    Is the picture of an assembly plant or a disassembly plant?

    I believe if it is not related to the two items being mentioned in the article it is misleading and it needs to be identified.

  11. These two proposals do not smell good….makes me skeptical.

    Project Alpha smells like they will turn the airport into a junk yard where hundreds of airplanes will come to die. Why all the secrecy?

    Burrell seems like a possible scam. Why would they be so interested in building in Tallahassee that is so far off the beaten path?

    Too bad the drive-by media isn’t investigating both companies. What other cities were approached and why did the deal fail? What is the background of the owners? What about EPA problems? Aircraft are full of fluids that need proper disposal. Where have Alpha and Burrell established successful businesses?

    Something is fishy here.

  12. “City Commissioner Matlow was more reserved in his comments. Matlow said, “I will save my compliments for when the item comes back to the commission for approval.”

    Proposed projects? Did these companies come to Tallahassee or did the – desperate for a campaign publicity stunt – generate these “Proposed Projects”?

    What was missing are Burrell and Alpha reps. An indication of a one-sided interest. If the actual reps from these companies were making a presentation it would be more credible.

    Is this a paid advertisement by the Dailey campaign or from a press release from the mayor’s office?

  13. Your local elected Nannies should thank America’s Govorner, Ron DeSaintis, for fostering the growth and public perception worldwide of Florida being the premier place to locate a business on the planet.
    Sorry but not sorry local liberal minded citizens. Your Nannies are all looking to you sheeple citizens to pretend they did this. All they really did was not turn down the uptick in business brought on by America’s Govorner.
    There local sheeple…Boom…take that truth bomb and pretend its not true.

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