By Matt Tomsic
Published Jan. 29, 2013
The Land Sale Special Committee voted 3-0 today to put its recommendation before the full aviation authority board, which is scheduled to meet again in February. Charleston International Airport Director Sue Stevens said the appraised values won’t be released until the property sale closes.
The committee considered both the airport and Boeing’s appraisal for the purchase of 320 acres of airport authority land, and Stevens said the two appraisals aren’t “apples to apples.”
Ben Hagood, who was representing board member Chip Campsen at the meeting, said the aviation authority is balancing the public interests involved in the deal, which include the economic impact of Boeing in the Lowcountry, the fiduciary duty of board members over the airport’s assets and the oversight of the Federal Aviation Administration, which has to approve the land sale.
“In light of the various information that we’ve been charged to evaluate, I see that there are really different significant public interests at play,” Hagood said. “We’re trying to balance all of those important public interests.”
In December, Boeing approached the aviation authority board with a presentation about its interest in several hundred acres of airport property.
After the Boeing presentation, the aviation authority board approved a resolution to begin the negotiations for the land acquisitions. The deal would include land purchases of 320 acres of airport property, rights of first refusal for an additional 488 acres and a purchase option in 2025 for Boeing South Carolina’s main campus, which is 265 acres.
“We’re committed long term to the Lowcountry,” said Rick Muttart, director of the aerospace giant’s Site Services Group, after the December meeting. “What we’ve got to do is be able to protect our potential needs for future growth. We don’t have any specific plans, but this positions us well should we make some decisions to expand.”