The South 40 or it could also be called the Field of Dreams "build it and they will come".
I will give my thoughts on the DOT-A development of the south ramp going back nearly thirty years.
Road "N" (nowhere)
Kona International Airport
Also registered with DCCA with additional trade names KOA Jet Center / Kona Aviation Center / Kona Coast Jet Center / Kona Flight Center .
When I made my way through all the material found on the internet regarding this project, I found it interesting for many reasons. I could be excited that an experienced developer with the capitol to see a project through finally arrived on the South 40. I am not .
I can understand that the State of Hawaii would like to see this land developed, but this project will not work for either party.
The testimony submitted in favor of SB652 talked about the jobs and the money it would generate for the state. There are currently 2 FBO's on the field. Twenty years ago I negotiated the first FBO lease with the state that included 2% of gross and $.04 per gallon of jet fuel sold. The 2 FBO's currently have 100% of the market. Any additional FBO will just be slicing the pie a little different. The project does not increase the number of aircraft arriving at Kona. I recognize additional tenant space would increase revenues for both the developer and the state but clearly it would be insufficient to pay off the bond and investors.
The installation of a 50,000 gal. Jet-A fuel tank also does not compute. The Hawaii Fueling Facility Corporation (HFFC) currently operates the airport JET-A fuel storage and allows equal access to all operators. Why would you put out $1 million plus for your own and then be required to meet multiple agencies rules and regulations?
The primary customer is the individuals that fly private jets. No doubt, the Kona coast has its share. Those individuals have many options when flying in luxury. They may charter, subscribe to fractional ownership or outright own (which in this day and age is not necessarily the best choice). That is why Netjets has more than 750 aircraft in their fleet. The FBO will gain more market share if you can service them on all islands. If you use Air Service Hawaii, you can use them on all islands and their customers do. Having only one mega facility in Kona does not equate to market share.
The cast of characters from the DOT-A, Legislators and developers tell an interesting story, but it is the same old story and it's always a drama with a little horror thrown in for effect.