Although his purchase of the former Westpark Golf Club property remains in limbo, Chuck Kuhn looks to be a fixture in Leesburg for quite some time.
Kuhn was the successful bidder for a fuel tank lease site at Leesburg Executive Airport, and has announced his intention to secure a fixed base operator’s license, which would make his SK Aviation the second FBO there, joining ProJet Aviation.
FBOs are organizations granted permission to operate at the airport and provide aeronautical services such as selling fuel, leasing hangars and tie-downs, and providing aircraft rentals, aircraft maintenance, flight instruction, and similar services.
ProJet, which has operated as the only FBO at the airport for the better part of the past decade, was actually the higher bidder for the lease, offering $5,000 a year for 2,500 square feet of land, compared to SK Aviaton’s offer of $1,500 per year for the same land. However, SK Aviation’s proposal, in addition to securing the FBO license, promised the lease of 10 tie-down spaces at an annual rate of $14,400. Additionally, SK is required by the Town Code to pay FBO license fees in the amount of 1 percent on aircraft maintenance and line services. The minimum bid price of 60 cents per square foot is an equivalent rate to an existing fuel tank land lease, according to a staff report. SK will also design, construct, operate and maintain the aviation fuel tank facility at its own expense.
Both the town staff and the Airport Commission endorsed SK’s proposal, citing the competition it would create among FBOs at the airport, which would support the town’s compliance with FAA grant assurance requirements.
It’s all part of the airport’s impressive growth, which has seen its traffic and demand for services increase by leaps and bounds over the years, Airport Commission Chairman Dennis Boykin said. He pointed out that the airport now has four flight schools after having only one for many years, so adding additional FBOs is just another part of that growth. ProJet was the second FBO at the airport before acquiring Landmark Aviation, the previous FBO, in the early 2010s.
“The bigger you get, the more FBOs you get. It’s part of the maturation process,” Boykin said.