The Santa Maria Public Airport Board of Directors will discuss amending its lease with the Central Coast Jet Center to make operations of the U.S. Forest Service air tanker base more convenient for all parties when it meets Thursday.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. in the airport administration building board room.

The tanker base has operated at the Santa Maria Airport since 2007. From 2009 to 2011, the base was downgraded to call-when-needed status by the Los Padres National Forest.

Since 2011 when the Forest Service moved to re-establish the base on a full-time basis the service has paid the Central Coast Jet Center for ramp handling fees and fuel flowage fees, and paid the airport district for landing fees.

The Board of Directors will consider lowering its landing fees and transferring collection duties to the Jet Center to keep the tankers landing here. The district is considering lowering the landing fee of $1 per 1,000 pounds to 50 cents per 1,000 lbs.

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“Basically we’re just (considering) delegating the collection of landing fees to the Jet Center,” said General Manager Chris Hastert, who added the board will also discuss cutting the fee in half. “It will be a single point of collection.”

The board will also consider amending the Cessna Pilot’s Association lease to adjust its starting date.

Hastert said because of construction that is improving access to the airport’s fire station, access and parking access to their building has been limited. He said the district’s recommendation is to delay the rent start date to May 1, which is when the construction is scheduled to be finished.

Construction around the fire station has been delayed by wet soil conditions.

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