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Recommendation comes amid setting up for the airport's premiere airshow festival event

HOLLY SCHOLZ/MADRAS PIONEER 
 - Aviation Management Consulting Group, hired by the city to evaluate the Madras Municipal Airport, recommends a new management model for the airport. AMCG suggests the city change to a private management model and take bids from companies that would like to run the airport.

After studying the Madras Municipal Airport and its management, consultant Jeff Kohlman said the airport has outgrown its current management model.

The City of Madras hired Aviation Management Consulting Group to evaluate the airport.

Madras City Council members heard his recommendations at their Tuesday, Aug. 24 meeting, during preparations for the airport's biggest event of the year, the Airshow of the Cascades.

Kohlman described the current airport model as a hybrid of city and private management.

He recommends a private management model and suggests the city put out a request for proposals for companies interested in running the Madras Airport.

Robert Berg of Berg Air LLC currently manages the airport, offering airplane maintenance, storage and flight instruction among other services.

Berg took the company over from his father. He says he's been with the company for 28 years, 16 years as manager.

Berg took time out from getting ready for the big event to attend the presentation.

The consultant's recommendation came as a surprise to him.

"I was planning on working another five years and then retire," Berg told the council. "Then find someone to do what we're doing. I'd train a replacement to take over."

Commissioner Royce Embanks lauded Berg's performance, describing how the airport managed to usher 500 aircraft out of Madras' airspace following the 2017 eclipse. "They all left in about an hour," said Embanks. "He deserves more than a ticket out the door."

Kohlman says Berg is amply qualified to apply to serve as the airport's private manager.

The council tabled the discussion to allow everyone an opportunity to thoroughly look over the report.


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