The Augusta Municipal Airport’s finances have improved significantly since 2011.

The Augusta Municipal Airport’s finances have improved significantly since 2011.

In that year, the airport lost $51,866 plus the cost of employee benefits. This year, those losses were only $17,457.

The sale of fuel thanks to new contracts brought about by Director Lloyd Partin and the Airport Board made up much of the difference.

Fuel sales brought in only $15,524 in 2011 and more than $37,241 last year.

Josh Shaw, Assistant to the City Manager, said that those good numbers still understate the fuel sales because there may be $9,000-$10,000 in inventory still on hand.

Partin is working on one item that could tilt the balance sheet back into the black.

The airport was charged more than $18,000 for a building at the facility that is rented by ARTDG/NIAR. The charge has been challenged on several occasions but the follow through never happened to complete the abatement.

“They have collected more than $360,000 in property taxes on a building that has exceeded its useful life,” Partin said. “The building is only worth about 70,000. I am going to push this because without that one expense, we would have been in the black this year.”

Expenses at the facility were up a little more than $20,000 in 2012 but that is commensurate with fuel costs so it wasn’t a concern for the board.

One exciting line item on the report was a service the airport is providing to area citizens that has little to do with the actual airport operations.

Airport staff have been acting as agents for a Hertz Rent-a-Car location at the airport. The city keeps 12 percent of every transaction. That total was almost $2,000 in 2012 and could grow this year.

“We are at a tipping point where there is enough revenue that Hertz may add this facility to its electronic system and staff the office,” Shaw said.

He said most of the residents who took advantage of having a local agency and didn’t have to go to Wichita to rent a vehicle.