b'40 TVC OPERATIONSCherry Capital Airport Controls Its Own Fate With Ownership/Governance ChangeBY THOMAS J. SMITHWhen Costco Wholesale Corp.marketing 70 more acres for additionaldevelopment or capital projects. A came knocking at Cherry Capitalnon-aeronautical development, and henine-member board composed of four Airport (TVC), it took four yearswanted there to be fewer speed bumps forelected officials and five community for the local airport commission to open thepotential tenants.representatives governs the new airport door. The warehouse giant wanted to buildWe realized that the commissionauthority and makes such decisions. its first store in western Michigan on land atstructure hindered our way of doing the Traverse City airport, but red tape madebusiness in an efficient manner, heFurther Backit a long process.explains. In 2015, the Michigan legislature passed Costco approached TVC in 2013 after athe Regional Airport Authority Act to So TVC changed its stripes. And its newfacilitate the conversion of Gerald R. Ford nearby site from another landowner didntownership and governance structurean pan out. The members-only retailer wantedInternational Airport (GRR) in Grand Rapids airport authorityis proving to be muchfrom a commission governance structure to lease a high-profile, 20-acre parcelmore nimble at facilitating infrastructure designated for non-aeronautical use. Theto an airport authority. When lawmakers improvement projects. crafted the bill, they did so with an eye transaction with the airport commission eventually happened and TVC gainedon helping other airports make similar The Backstory changes. a new $167,000Since 1990, a bi-county commission of per year revenuerepresentatives from Grand Traverse andPreviously, state legislation for airport stream, but it took 10Leelanau counties had managed TVC. (Theauthorities was limited and did not easily different governmentalairport is located in Grand Traverse County;allow for the creation of airport authorities. agencies to approveLeelanau is next door.) The two countiesIn fact, it had only allowed Detroit the land lease. Theowned the 1,100-acre airport, but TraverseMetropolitan Airport to make such a fastest approval cameCity, which owned TVC until 1974, still hadswitch. Any other airport needed to secure from the FAA, andKEVIN KLEIN a stake in controlling the land.new legislation from the state.that took 11 months,When Klein and other officials decided notes Chief Executive Officer Kevin C.That all changed last fall. Now, TVC is Klein, A.A.E. owned and managed by the Northwestthey wanted to explore the possibility Regional Airport Authority. The twoof changing TVCs ownership and After the lucrative 60-year deal withcounties and the city no longer have agovernance, they hired Steven Baldwin Costco was sealed, Klein knew thingsvoice inor veto power overairportAssociates to consult and help write the had to change. The airport was activelyoperations, lease agreements, air serviceassociated business plan. Firm principal July | August 2022AirportImprovement.com'