Plans To Privitize Gwinnett’s Briscoe Field Grounded

Fox5 Atlanta brings the news:

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. – Steps to privatize Briscoe Field in Gwinnett County were nixed by the Citizens Review Committee on Monday.

The committee met at the DOT Central Facility, adjacent to the airport.

They reviewed recent reports by two consultants, who said Briscoe Field is not a good candidate for passenger aviation.

Those details are rather sparse given the amount of time and detail spent to research and influence the county commission to consider the idea.  Given that we have quite a few Gwinnett folks as both contributors and commenters, perhaps some of you can fill in the gaps for the rest of us where this went tango uniform.


  1. It’s a situation of “much ado about nothing”.

    The citizens committee never reviewed the actual proposal that is on the table from Propeller Investments. In other words, not one member of the committee could legally read or view the actual proposed plan or proposal from Propeller Investments — so members were voting on something that they had never even seen — without any answers, numbers, figures or facts regarding the actual proposal.

    Also, there were 11 members of the committee. Prior to the committee being actually formed, 5 of the 11 members openly stated their opposition to having commercial service at the airport. One, in fact, was a leader in the opposition, while another was threatening to sue about it. Half the appointed members were open opponents from the beginning, while only a couple of the members were known supporters from the beginning. So no surprise there, either.

    Frankly, after all the work, the committee brought virtually nothing of substance to the table. They voted 6-5 to oppose something they have never seen. Again, they were not allowed to read the proposal and have no idea whatsoever what is contained in the proposal: no numbers, figures, answers to questions.

    And legally, the only people who could actually answer the questions — Propeller — were not legally allowed to speak about their proposal or answer questions because an RFP process is active. That’s the law. So Propeller was not and could not be called by the committee for comments, rebuttals or answers.

    So the opponents, who had openly prejudged a proposal they had never actually seen, voted no.

    Much to do about nothing. It’s unsurprising.

  2. Jimmie says:

    Good. Put it out of it’s misery please. Build a commercial airport further North. Hundreds of residents do NOT want a bigger airport as their neighbor. How hard is that to understand?

  3. debbie0040 says:

    I support the privatization and I live in the flight path. It is good for Gwinnett.. .

    The people that live near the airport oppose privatization. The 75% that live in other areas support it. Put it up for a vote by the entire county..

    • Calypso says:

      You mean the 95% that live in other areas support it. This would have minimal impact on a very small number of folks. I think the commissioners should proceed with both privatization and limited scheduled service at Briscoe Field.

      • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

        No, I think both of you mean the 105% that live in other areas support it.

        (Can’t forget about the land spectulators and real estate developers who are a key part of the Gwinnett County community…)

      • Actually, most residents in Lawrenceville support it too, Calypso. An election within the Lawrenceville area would likely return a 60%+ favorable on privatizing the airport and allowing scheduled service for planes that are quieter than what already fly from Briscoe today.

        • Jimmie says:

          Quiet Commercial Jets. Lol. That one is a gem. You’re 60% number is incorrect too. Most people I talk to about it, ask what the hell do we need Commercial Airliners roaring overhead while we frequent Downtown Lawrenceville for? Build your beloved Commercial Airport further up North. Gather your favorite Contractors and leave Lawrenceville alone!

    • Harry says:

      Yes…imagine the result if ATL airport development would have to be approved by vote of just those under the flight path.

  4. Jimmie says:

    You can’t limit the schedule. The benefits of it are overinflated. Just like the Gwinnett Braves Stadium will bring in zillion jobs and will pay for itself in revenue. Just like the Trash Plan was for our own good, even though most people didn’t want it. What does it matter anyway. If history is any indication, the BOC will do what’s best for them, not the people affected by the decision.

    • Jimmie, have you read the actual Propeller proposal that was submitted to Gwinnett County by Propeller?

      If not, how can you say the benefits of it are overinflated?

      Betting that you haven’t read it, and actually have no idea whatsoever what’s in the proposal — and yet are pretending you know what the benefits are.

      • Jimmie says:

        You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. Wait to see how much the filed lawsuits cost to fight if that Airport is voted for expansion to commercial airliners.

  5. It is ironic that the opponents on the Prejudging Committee are now calling for millions of taxpayer dollars to be spent on making improvements and revitalizing the airport when there is … no… chance whatsoever that the improvements will actually result in creating new jobs in the County.

    It won’t work by all accounts because private businesses will not invest money there unless they can make a profit on their investment.

    These big government fanatics are now calling for more tax dollars and deficit spending. The Prejudgment Committee called to build brand new speculative hangers, roads and infrastructure with taxpayer dollars — with no chance of the money being returned. Half the hangers are already empty out there — and they want to build more?

    And didn’t they say that taxpayers shouldn’t be burdened with more debt?

    Let’s stop spending taxpayer dollars on big government projects that will fail. The reality is that privatization and private investment is what most of the public wants.

  6. rrrrr says:

    Mark Roundtree, have YOU read the actual proposal that is currently under wraps? Would you care to release a copy if you have? HOW do you KNOW they are accurate?

    So, since one has not been released, we have only the data that has been released by Propeller itself and how the business operates. The biggest flag I saw last year was the collecting of resumes’ in both Gwinnett and South Atlanta job fairs for “openings “in their project. This was done without even so much as a memorandum of understanding in place. And those who were “interviewed” or had their resumes collected were encouraged to email Gwinnett County commissioners to approve the project. A kind appraisal of this concept would be to say their business method is extremely aggressive, common sense would dictate a leaning a little closer to outright fraud. ( IMHO) EVEN if the expansion made sense, would it be prudent to have THIS aggressive a business partner LONG term? TRUST – ANYONE?
    Most recently Mike Korom a candidate for a district 3 seat in Gwinnett presented evidence at a Gwinnett County Commissioner Meeting where principals of Propeller were involved in the bankrupting an airline prior to this proposal. This just adds another Hold on here…

    If so many businesses believe this is a good idea, why did we only get one bid – after 2 bidding “attempts”? More experienced firms chose not to play, THAT alone makes one take pause.

    How many conversions of this type has the lone bidder performed successfully? ZERO we would be the FIRST of our kind.

    As to the general belief it should be privatized, that high 75 percent figure is JUST that, the general belief that private operators are more cost effective than government. (Holds true most of the time) But as with all generalizations, there are always exceptions as rare as they are and SURPRISE!! We were it this time. Commercial jet 737 type traffic was NOT included in the initial survey. So after studies on the CURRENT operation, because it’s been left alone like “Shoe Box Greeting, a tiny little division of Hallmark” it’s shown to produce a profit as run today. (I’m sure that will change now that they have been FOUND and identified)
    It didn’t make sense to privatize the general aviation operation UNLESS converted and the 737s are in the mix. Making money sure thing now vs. take a CHANCE at making more MAYBE. We already have a baseball stadium that doesn’t live up to the forecasts originally made for it by the same players that now claim the expanded airport will be “golden” without any unforeseen cost overruns or burdens to the residents of the county. (Water infrastructure issues seem to be lurking)

    And to only the “LOCAL people” being against this that’s pure bunk. COUNTY Taxpayers who see the same “fuzzy math” that is being used on the T-SPLOST see it being applied here for the expansion as well and we simply don’t want to be STUCK funding another high price toy forever.

    • Calypso says:

      “…why did we only get one bid – after 2 bidding “attempts”?

      Actually, there were three respondents in the first RFP (Request For Proposal, not ‘Bid’ as you incorrectly state).

      You talk like you know what’s going on, but obviously you are just regurgitating a few hyperbolic talking points given out by the NIMBY ‘anti’ group.

    • debbie0040 says:

      I attended the last county committee meeting and I have never met such a group of rude people in my life as those that opposed the airport privatization.

      I don’t buy the ridiculous false statements being spread by people that are opposed to something they have not even read. I also am very familiar with an airport in Carlsbad, CA that is in a residential area and it a very nice airport and so is the area around it. The commercial jets don’t make the noise, it is the smaller planes that do. I find it amusing that anytime someone mentions the expansion, the first words I hear from those that oppose it is “Hartsfield, Hartsfield” This will not be like Hartsfield..

  7. rrrrr says:

    Calypso ….
    Nice attempt at a condescending response, but it’s just such a passé approach from those who support the expansion model. If you can’t offer reality, attempt to discredit the messenger as “uninformed” and it’s an approach that has really has been worn out at this point. I’m glad you clarified for all to read that even more were invited to play, but chose to decline the invitation in the end.

    I must say that I expected far more than just a challenge of terms (RFP vs. Bid) but no comment attempting to refute or defend a firm that offers VAPORWARE employment opportunities, if only candidates would email commissioners? These aren’t the talking points as you claim, but just a few of some real world observations collected during this saga in Gwinnett County. Do feel free to post the proposal soon as it’s released.

    • Jimmie says:

      And how would said flights provide millions in revenue plus 1 trillion new jobs? This one stinks as bad as the Gwinnett Braves Stadium promises did.

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