Private ownership could be in works for Toledo Express - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Private ownership could be in works for Toledo Express

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Dock David Treece, a Sylvania investment advisor, says he is in the process of gathering information and developing a business plan to operate the city-owned Toledo Express Airport.

Treece has also had preliminary talks with Mayor Mike Bell.

The Toledo Lucas County Port Authority currently runs the airport. Just over 143,000 passengers traveled in or out of there in 2012 - a historic low.

Treece says the flexibility that comes with a small private entity like Toledo Express doesn't exist under the Port's current structure when it comes to expanding commercial, private and air cargo business.

"The state of the aviation industry today is one of rapid change, and it requires operations that can move quickly to respond to those changes to take advantage of them," he said.

Treece says advisors have told him "time kills all deals."

He says Toledo Express is under-utilized and should have a greater economic impact to the region.

"I can't say that the way things have been operating for the last 20 years is going to produce the kind of growth that we need to see," he said.

Mayoral candidates Bell and Mike Collins said during a debate Wednesday on Toledo News Now that they're open to the idea of turning Toledo Express operations to someone else.

"I'm extremely optimistic," Treece said. "I'm thankful we've got a strong candidate for the office of mayor and I hope they will continue to have an open mind."

Treece has no timeline for finalizing a plan, saying he still has to talk to bankers, lawyers, business people and politicians.

Related: City leaders discuss privatizing Toledo Express Airport

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