A contract that will allow a medical helicopter service to place a base at Hannibal Regional Airport will likely be presented to the Hannibal City Council for review at its Tuesday, Aug. 20, meeting.
During the Airport Advisory Board meeting earlier this week, City Manager Jeff LaGarce indicated he has been focused on getting a contract drafted as Survival Flight Inc. is anxious to begin operations in Northeast Missouri.
“Right now the lease is 99.9 percent complete,” said LaGarce during Wednesday’s meeting at the airport terminal.
Because of Federal Aviation Administration and Missouri Department of Transportation guidelines, the lease fee must be a market-based price. LaGarce indicated that he’d already started a market study.
Survival Flight’s plan is to initially begin its operations in a 24-foot by 60-foot crew trailer near the terminal and within a year to build a permanent base south of the tarmac. LaGarce hoped to draft a multi-year lease that would cover both locations.
“We want one lease, not two,” he said.
More advantages of having the business based at the airport were noted during the meeting. It was pointed out that every flight operation the service performs will count as an air operation at the airport, which will help the city eventually make a case for a longer runway. Another advantage is Survival Flight’s staffing - three-person crews working 12-hour shifts - will provide the airport with a 24-hour-a-day presence at the airport.
George Walley, a member of the city’s Airport Advisory Board, said company officials chose locating at the airport, even though the primary service area it identified is actually south of Hannibal.
“We’re on the north side of what they identified as an under-served area,” said Walley.
Tuesday’s Council meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in council chambers at Hannibal City Hall.