A visit to the municipal airport in Leesburg, Va., yesterday has inspired two county commissioners to seriously consider what amenities Carroll County Regional Airport should offer corporate clients.
"It definitely gives us more things to think about as we move forward," said Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier. "I was particularly impressed by how much of a difference it would make to have a good mechanical shop."
Arranged by Edward Primoff, a commercial pilot from Woodbine, the visit was meant to help the county find ways to improve services at Carroll's airport north of Westminster on Route 97. The county has extended the runway and added corporate hangars in an effort to attract pilots flying over the mid-Atlantic states and business clients.
The Leesburg airport has technicians who can correct mechanical problems and repair the electronic instruments that pilots use to navigate and land aircraft. The mechanics in Carroll County are not able to work on such high-tech equipment, county officials said.
"The mechanical shop and the services we provide make us very attractive to corporate clients," Michael H. Meyers, director of maintenance at the Leesburg airport, told Frazier and Commissioner Donald I. Dell during their two-hour tour. Meyers, who lives in Woodbine, has supervised day-to-day ground operations at the Leesburg airport for several years.
In addition to a state-of-the-art maintenance facility, Leesburg also offers corporate clients - including Ritz Camera and Weiss Markets - a discounted rate on fuel, a landing system that allows pilots to land in inclement weather, and a 24-hour towing service that moves aircraft in and out of the hangars. Meyers' staff also cleans the aircraft and provides ice and coffee for every flight.
Primoff, president of the Carroll County Landowners Association, which aims to protect property rights, drove the commissioners and county Enterprise and Recreation Services Director Gary Horst, who oversees the Carroll airport, to Leesburg.
Dell said he would consider which of Leesburg's amenities, if any, could be duplicated in Carroll.
But any improvements to the Carroll airport might have to wait as the county tries to resolve a dispute with the contractor who built seven corporate hangars there.