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Airport seeks to improve tenant relations
New members of the Glynn County Airport Commission say they want to better involve tenants in decision-making following complaints of overbearing regulations.

Among other things, tenants might be allowed to join airport committees as non-voting members.

The airport commission oversees operations of the county's two airports - Brunswick Golden Isles Airport and McKinnon St. Simons Island Airport.

A second public hearing on the proposed ordinance update was held Monday. Provisions of the ordinance haven't been popular among tenants, but airport commissioners have vowed to involve them in the writing process.

"I think a lot of it has been miscommunication and misunderstanding to some degree, and I hope we can start anew and I think everybody seems to be committed to doing that," said Laura McKinley, chairwoman of the airport commission.

Renn Gruber, president of the Glynn County Airport Tenants Association, says he's optimistic the two can reconcile their differences.

"I think the general feeling now is the commission and tenants really need to work together and have a better dialogue," Gruber said.

But it remains to be seen just how that will happen.

The tenants association said it has identified 53 clauses or regulations in the proposed ordinance that could present problems. Many are onerous and cumbersome, said Janice Britton, secretary of the association.

"We would like to firmly give the new board a chance, but actions speak louder than words," Britton said.

Mark Stambaugh, co-owner of Stambaugh Aviation, also remains unconvinced. He has said the commission's regulations are so crippling that he would actually consider moving the business to Florida.

Proposed regulations would allow only aircraft with a Federal Aviation Administration certificate of air worthiness to take off or land at Glynn County's airports, Stambaugh said.

That could create problems for the Brunswick-based company, which has international clients who aren't subject to FAA oversight.

Airport commissioners say they want to meet regularly with tenants, but Stambaugh said he'll believe it when he sees it.

"Those are the same platitudes we heard almost two years ago, and nothing changed," Stambaugh said.

Glynn County Commissioner Bob Coleman, attending Monday's ordinance hearing, said Tuesday airport officials and tenants must work together to solve the "feud" if economic progress is going to be made.

"It's just like any other organization that has a commission here in this county: You've got to take care of your customers," Coleman said. "That tenants association out there is their customer."

No official votes have been taken on the ordinance update or on the proposal to allow tenants to serve as non-voting members of airport commission committees.

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