Aviation panel approves audit report

The Pine Bluff Aviation Committee, meeting in regular session Thursday at Pine Bluff Grider Field Airport, unanimously approved a 2011-12 audit conducted by the Porterfield Killingsworth Certified Public Accountants firm of Berryville and Harrison.

The audit produced no findings.

Total assets increased from $2,966,557 on Dec. 31, 2011, to $3,460,685 on Dec. 31, 2012. Liabilities on the respective dates were figured at $72,960 and $125,043.

Operating revenues from fuel and oil sales and rent and storage services jumped from $591,495 to $671,189, with gross profits growing from $215,223 to $218,707. Grant revenues swelled from $543,442 to $768,408.

Salaries and benefits advanced from $192,411 to $208,989. Advertising dropped from $2,341 to $2,021. Also falling were telephone expenses, from $3,040 to $2,137.

Commissioners also voted unanimously to contract McClelland Consulting Engineers Inc. of Little Rock in formulating a scope on a long-range plan for the airport.

Committee chairman Ken Johnson told his fellow panelists that Arkansas Department of Aeronautics Director John Knight recently visited and had kind words for the facility. Commissioner Joy Ramsay Blankenship said Knight also praised the airport staff.

Johnson said Knight was appreciative of the commission’s initiative in helping to generate airport improvements. Knight also offered the support of his agency, Johnson said.

In other business, the commission unanimously accepted a bid of about $294,000 on improvements to the airport’s apron. The enhancements will be financed with a federal grant. Johnson said the bid approval was simply a formality in the process.

Commissioners also agreed to allow a potential renter of the adjacent former U.S. Army armory to conduct a 90-day evaluation of the site to determine how it might suit him and what renovations might be necessary for his occupancy.