County News

Yavapai County officials are attempting to take over management of the Sedona Airport due to concerns over potential liability and in an effort to provide a "seat at the table" for the city of Sedona and its residents.

The facility is run by the Sedona-Oak Creek Airport Authority.

Giorgio Cagliero, president of the SOCAA board of directors, declined to comment.

“As soon as I will have something real to discuss, as opposed to rumors or gossips, I will be happy to contact you and set up an appointment,” he said in response to an email seeking comment.

Yavapai County District 3 Supervisor Chip Davis confirmed that there have been discussions with SOCAA, but said nothing has been formalized yet.

“We have met with them and discussed reasons the county feels we need to take over management,” he said Oct. 22. “It didn’t appear they were overjoyed about relinquishing their authority.”

Davis added that the Board of Supervisors has instructed its lawyer to draft a letter to the airport authority stating its intention.

Davis represents District 3, which includes the airport.

SOCAA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, was formed in 1970 and began operating the airport the following year under a long-term lease with Yavapai County. The airport property was given to Yavapai County by the federal government in the 1950s for use as an airport.

The SOCAA board held its regularly scheduled meeting Monday, Oct. 26, but there was nothing on the public agenda about the potential takeover. However, an item slated for executive session — which is not open to the public — was the vaguely worded: “Discussion and consultation with counsel regarding amended lease issues.”

There was one other item slated for the executive session — discussion of airport General Manager Russell Widmar’s contract.

To read the full story, see the Wednesday, Oct. 28, edition of the Sedona Red Rock News.


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