Tuesday, September 16, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.
It’s once again time to take up the matter of San Bernardino International Airport (SBIA). You know that financial black hole, formerly known as Norton Air Force Base.
Since the 1994 closure of Norton, more than a quarter-billion dollars has been sunk into the aging facility. Money has been spent on runway improvements, lighting, a useless passenger terminal, Fixed-Based Operator (FBO) facility and, to top it all off, a dormant immigration and customs building built to perpetuate the dillusion of international flights arriving at the facility.
A marketing budget for the FBO operation of $492,500, and a marketing contract with Nostrum Inc. to the tune of $420,000, has become of bone of contention with the airport’s governing board.
That’s another million dollars for marketing! So far, the marketing endeavor has consisted of a logo change, in the name of re-branding.
One can completely understand questioning the spending of taxpayer dough on what was clearly a crap shoot from the start. Unfortunately the questioning is too little too late.
To throw more gas on the fire, the impending closure of Rialto Municipal Airport has yielded little to the San Bernardino facility, the purported beneficiary of the shutdown of Rialto.
Pretty much all of the general aviation business is migrating to Chino Airport. After all, who in their right mind would want to go to place with San Bernardino’s track record?
The only minimally-tangible gain SBIA gets out of Rialto is the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Aviation Division. Something that’s not a real financial contributor to the facility or surrounding economy. But it looks good cosmetically!
The saga continues……..