Saturday, October 22, 2022

McKinney Airport Money Spent Timeline to 2022

Edited: Updated the costs of the airport to the citizens. As of 10/2022, we've spent a ballpark of about $90M-$100M on the airport. 

Since the FBO (airplane gas station, hangars, etc.) purchase in 2013, most of us have not really understood that the city of McKinney treats the FBO and the rest of the airport as two entities. Consequently, when the city says the FBO is making a profit, many think the whole airport is making a profit. The FBO makes money off of the existing airport infrastructure. The FBO also makes money with every airport upgrade or investment in hangars, runways, parking, land purchases, etc. We forget, though, that the airport side is getting millions of our tax dollars sunk into it every year. If our general fund has put in millions of dollars into the airport infrastructure, subsidizing the FBO operations, and subsidizing the FBO by paying its loans, an announced $565k profit by the FBO isn't that impressive. 

If some taxpayers are hoping the entire airport entity will someday be self-sufficient, they will be very disappointed. If some other taxpayers are hoping some trickle-around economic development comes from the airport being subsidized by us forever,  they'll be happy. There is no end date for subsidizing the airport. We'll never know for sure the real economic impact that the airport does or doesn't provide either. This makes it difficult for us to decide if if the continued expense is worth it or not. 

It is important to remember that the 2004-2012 city CIP was at $71M. This spending is since that $71M. 

Below is a running total and financial timeline of our contributions to the entire McKinney National Airport. The bold amounts total at the end. This is the updated version on 1/22/18.


Description of Event/Purchase/Funding Source


Pre-FBO Purchase

The city spent a lot of money on the airport before the FBO purchase in 2013 too.



Flight Based Operations (FBO) Purchase by city for plane gas station, passenger terminal, 5 large box hangars, 93 T-hangars, and office building.

Property tax money is made off the planes in the hangars. The property tax on planes fluctuates because the value of planes decreases over the years. Fuel sales fluctuate due to price of fuel and demand.

From the Sept 3, 2013 CC meeting on item number 13-902 (for the FBO purchase), these are the minutes:
“Mr. Gray stated that there is a revenue stream that includes the real estate side with the leasing of hangars and the fuel sale side which would fund the debt service of the airport to close this transaction. The City’s projections indicate that the airport will become more self-sufficient and be able to match some of the federal grants with airport dollars as we look to improve the airport over time. This purchase would allow the City flexibility to sell the FBO at some point, if we wanted to, or lease or sell any of the hangars that are currently out there.”
At the same City Council meeting, Councilman Harris asked Jason Gray directly if the profits from the FBO would pay for the debt service costs of the FBO purchase. Jason Gray said that was correct.

According to the minutes, Councilman Ussery was the only one to vote against the purchase (it was a 6-1 vote). However, Councilman Ricchi stated that he didn't think the city should be in the gas station business. He said he'd rather the airport assets be strategically sold.

The first of 20 debt service payments of $1. 3M each was due in 2016. The city paid it, not the airport FBO. The Airport Operations Fund kept the payment they were to pay and put it in the Airport Construction Fund. (per City email 11/28/2016).

2017 debt service payment was also paid by City. Both loan payments paid by city (instead of by the FBO) were authorized by City Council both years when the budgets were passed.  




Airfield Maintenance Building – in CIP and done



Start of year budget supplementals – for new car, computer, fuel tank, and sprayer.



Start of year budget supplementals from 8/7/15 for food, training, supplies, overtime, etc.



$50M airport bond failed to get taxpayer approval



MCDC paid $1.5M and the city paid the rest of the purchase of a 15,000-sq. ft. hangar (per 12/12/16 email). Hopefully, this is the transient hangar



Start of year budget supplementals from 7/27/2016 for large box tug, golf cart, hanger floor scrubber, fox cart, security camera.



Mid-year budget supplementals for various maintenance projects (HVAC, water leaks, siding & valves).



Airport Parking Ramp Reconstruction – in CIP and done



Construction of Hangar #2-paid for with CIP city money



Toyota Hangar- city took out a loan from the Solid Waste Fund to pay for it



Budget supplemental from 8/4/17 aircraft tug, city paid



City is involved in a lease-to-own type of public private partnership (like the downtown parking garage) with a company to refurbish the existing FBO and add some parking, etc.
MEDC is providing $4M. MCDC is providing $4M. And, an $6M investment by a private company to build and then lease to us for 20 years with the option to buy.



City spent general fund cash on the purchase of 190 acres of land on the southeast side of the airport (they want to purchase a total of about 500 acres eventually).



Airport Master Plan Update – in CIP






Private company, Western LLC, contracted in 2017 to build FBO, terminal, and hangar files for bankruptcy leaving project unfinished and exposed to elements for a year



City contracted with McRight-Smith Construction and the city used emergency funding and process to finish the project.



SECOND company working on FBO, terminal, and hangar files for bankruptcy leaving 6 weeks of work left and workers unpaid



Total ballpark because there was more spending than this up to 2022 (without fixing the costs of the twice bankrupt public private partnership venture)


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