The Hillsdale Municipal Airport.
Thomas Novelly/Collegian

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.”