County Airport Lease Review Process Explained by County Legislator

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Board of Legislators. March 18, 2017:

At a recent Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting, Legislators met with Doreen Frasca, Ken Cushine and their staff from Frasca & Associates, LLC.

Frasca is a Transportation Consulting and Financial Advisory firm which was hired by Westchester County to conduct a Request For Proposals (RFP) to select a new private operator for Westchester County Airport. In public-private partnerships, Frasca works exclusively for the municipal entity.
Frasca & Associates has expertise in lease negotiations for facilities with airlines and other airport tenants and developing public/private partnerships. Frasca was selected from 12 firms who responded to a preceding RFP to conduct the search for a private operator at the county airport. The firm was chosen by the Westchester County Airport Advisory Task Force.

The Airport Task Force will continue to work with Frasca and the County Executive’s Office as the RFP process continues.

Frasca proposed a bifurcated RFP that would contain an explanation of each firm’s technical capabilities and expertise. Those firms whose capabilities match the technical requirements for a private partnership will then be evaluated based on their financial proposals.
During the COW meeting, Frasca presented a plan to solicit proposals from possible private operators. The proposed schedule envisions a deadline for responses to the RFP around the middle of July.

The date for Westchester County to choose an operator would then fall in mid-September. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would then review the final lease- a process that takes at least 75 days. By Frasca’s estimate, contingent on a timely FAA review, Westchester County could have a deal in place with a new private operator by the end of November 2017.
Following the meeting, Legislator David Gelfarb, in whose Legislative District the Westchester County Airport is located said, “As always, I expressed my concern about the impact of a possible transaction on the neighboring communities. I am especially concerned about increased traffic, noise and water pollution, and the impact on the overnight curfew and of new capital projects. I also want to ensure that the neighboring communities are given an opportunity to be heard and to meet with the County’s financial advisor. Lastly, I am concerned that there is real competitive bidding, that the transaction be financially fair and beneficial and that the length of the contract be fair to the County.”
Legislator Francis Corcoran, serves as a member of the three member Airport Advisory Task Force and has been working in the financial/capital markets arena for 30 years. “With tens of millions of dollars in revenue virtually trapped at the county airport because of FAA regulations I believe the County’s proposal to partner with a private company to unlock those airport revenues for general budget use is a smart and resourceful plan.” Corcoran said. “There aren’t a lot of companies with the experience, expertise and capital to take on a partnership of this scope and length. I look forward to hearing the proposals that result from this RFP.”

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