SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The fight continues between airport hangar tenants and the Shreveport Airport Authority Board over a new lease agreement.
Tenants once again took their concerns to the board meeting Tuesday morning.
Tenants who lease hangars at the Shreveport Downtown and Regional Airports are not pleased with the new lease terms and some are refusing to sign it. While the board decided it will look at making changes.
“They’re taking personal property and we’ll wind up with nothing,” said Bill Underhill, Shreveport Airport Hangar Owners Association.
The tenants have banned together in defiance of the new lease and said under the new terms their hangars will become property of the airport and thus the FAA.
“These airports have operated for decades going back to 1931 for the Downtown Airport and the 1950s’ for Shreveport Regional on a business model that works a lot like a gated community. It’s primarily owner driven, very little overhead. We are self-governing,” said Jim Graves, Shreveport Airport Hangar Owners Association.
Tenants said they’ve also invested their own money in their hangars and don’t want to lose its value.
“If you’ve spent say 500-thousand dollars would you want it to just be blown away then automatically owned by someone else? I don’t think so,” Underhill said.
The Airport Authority Board tabled the new lease for now and voted on an amendment to make changes.
“These changes revolve around the fact of what happens with a privately owned hanger transitions to public ownership and ADA compliance. Who’s responsible for bringing that up to ADA compliance,” said Wade Davis, Board Director of Airports.
The tenants said they’ll probably end up leaving the airport for good once their leases are up.
“I’m not going to sign the lease agreement. At the end of my current lease the owner will likely be general scrap because I would rather take the hanger down, sell it for scrap than to leave it and give it to the Airport Authority,” said Monty Walford, Shreveport Airport Hangar Owners Association.
Davis said they’ll continue to work with the tenants and have about a month to review the amended changes. The board will have 25 days to review the amendment before holding another public meeting.