King County, Wash., conducted a real estate appraisal in 2007 and 2008, and determined that land lease rental rates for tenants at Boeing Field-King County International (BFI) should be increased. This increase—from $1 to $1.60 per square foot—would adversely impact the businesses and pilots at BFI. The rate increases would ultimately trickle down and translate to higher rates for hangar- and tie-down rentals.
Local law requires periodic reviews and adjustments of lease rates; however, AOPA has emphasized that the latest review was conducted before the recent economic downturn. As such, it does not reflect the economic hardships imposed by the recession that began in 2009—and continues to this day.
The rate increases could occur in the very near future, but AOPA has written to King County Executive Director Dow Constantine, suggesting that now is not the time to be placing additional burdens on airport tenants. The net effect of the rate increases would impact employment at BFI-based businesses, as well as drive renters away from the airport, AOPA said. “It would set up a classic downward spiral in business activity and rental incomes,” said AOPA Vice President of Local Airport Advocacy Bill Dunn. “And at a time when general aviation businesses need help the most.”
“General aviation tenants don’t seek special treatment. Rather, we seek fair and reasonable treatment while taking into consideration the current economic climate,” AOPA said in its letter to Constantine.