Humboldt County seeks solutions in airport financial crisis

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EUREKA, CA. – Humboldt airports are supposed to stand on their own financially, but are digging into county funds.

The six airports, including Eureka/Arcata, Dinsmore, Garberville, Kneeland, Murray Field and Rohnerville, are overseen as business-type activities, meaning they are not accounted for borrowing county funds.

However, for the past eight years operating costs have exceeded income and the Aviation Division of Public Works has had to borrow funds to keep afloat.

Humboldt Supervisors hired Volaire Aviation, Inc. to do a study on how to fix the issue, and their reports recommend creating an entire airports department, hiring a director, and re-envisioning structure of the airports’ business as a whole.

Humboldt County 1st District Supervisor Rex Bohn said, “We probably need an airport manager up there, which we are seriously lacking – someone that can oversee all the facilities and address those issues. There is a way to make this thing revenue-neutral, and maybe make some money off it.”