BYU-Area Airport Feels the Economic Crunch

By By U Wire and By U Wire

By U Wire

PROVO?For Provo, Utah, Airport companies, the Sept. 11 attack did more than just shut them down for a few days.

Provo Municipal Airport manager Steve Gleason said, “Every single company operating outside of the airport was significantly affected.”

Because of federal regulations, the Provo Municipal Airport was closed down as a result of the terrorist attacks.

Advantage Aviation, a fixed base operation and flight school, is just one of the airport companies directly affected by the terrorist attacks.

Kelly Siple, Advantage Aviation manager said they were shut down for two weeks following the attacks.

“We really felt the crunch. We make most of our money off of selling fuel. When there were no airplanes coming in, there was no fuel to sell,” he said.

“The bills were still there. We still had to pay for utilities, phone bills, payroll and many other expenses even though we were not operating.”

Siple said that in a month’s time, they generate $100,000, and all of their losses had to come out of their profit margin.

“After the attacks, we had to make a plan for the short term and the long term,” he said. “Luckily, no business here at the airport has been forced to close their doors permanently. But we all have suffered losses.”

Although airport companies experienced economic loss, they’re optimistic there will be no long-term effects.

Larry Mendenhall, general manager of Million Air-Provo said, “It was not a crash but rather a dent. It was a ripple rather than a tidal wave,” he said.

Million Air was in the process of constructing a new building out at the airport when the attacks occurred.

Mendenhall said the attacks have definitely had their affect upon them, but they will continue with expansion plans. The new building should be done in two to three weeks.

He said the airplane business plans for economic good times and bad times.

“It’s a seasonal business, and the season came early this year,” Mendenhall said.