Hillsdale Municipal Airport has a new means of keeping track of fuel funding. Control of the fuel changed hands in October 2017 when the city took over the fuel from a private company, Patriot Aviation.
Patriot Aviation acted as a fixed base operator, or FBO. According to Airport Director Ginger Moore, FBOs are private businesses that own and sell the fuel. The FBOs, she said, tend to run maintenance and groundskeeping, charging the city the costs of upkeep.
“We’ve gone to a different model where I work for the city as the manager, and the groundskeeper also works for the city,” Moore said. “The city bought the fuel. We pump the fuel for the city, but the city gets all of the profits.”
The fuel fund acts as a way for the city to keep track of the money specifically designated for fueling costs.
“When we sell fuel, we put that money into the fund to buy more fuel with and possibly to pay for repairs with the fuel farm,” Moore said. “It’s mainly just a separate fund so the money to buy fuel doesn’t get spent on something else.”
According to Moore, the airport is doing well financially, due to an increase in corporate jets using the airport.
“We’re selling more fuel than we’ve ever sold,” she said. “We sell lots of jet fuel, because lots of jets are coming in. A lot of people think this airport is just for the college, but I’d say three-quarters of the jets coming in have nothing to do with the college. There’s a lot of business going on that people don’t realize. A lot of businesses are utilizing corporate aircraft more and more so.”