River and Bay Authority responds to task force’s recommendation to not renew lease

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The Delaware River and Bay Authority issued the following statement regarding the recommendation of a task force to not renew the lease for operating the Wilmington (New Castle) Airport.

“The authority is proud of its operation of the Airport during the last 25 years and is disappointed that the Airport Task Force has recommended a termination of the operating agreement and -in doing so- suggested the Authority has not properly and transparently managed the Airport. The Authority was asked to step into operations 25 years ago because the County did not have money or expertise to run the facility. Since then, it has invested millions of its own dollars in the enterprise, has secured tens of millions of Federal matching funds and the facility has prospered greatly.

The Task Force recommendation to terminate the agreement seems based on a serious misunderstanding of the scope and magnitude of the Authority’s contributions—and of the true cost of running the airport— as well as the terms of agreement negotiated 25 years ago. In all events, the Authority is committed to providing accurate information to the County and clearing up any misunderstandings created by the consultants about the Airport operations and finances. The Authority is committed to assuring that the final decision made by the County Executive is fully informed and in the best interests of all concerned, including the taxpayers of New Castle County. We feel the best way to achieve this result is to meet face to face with the County officials, to hear their concerns and to try to reach agreement on a path forward. That’s how we reach the best results in Delaware – through outreach, candid dialogue and cooperation.”

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