St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Letter to the editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message

ETA set for new terminal at Albert Whitted Airport

Officials look to open the two-story structure asearly as next month once negotiations are resolved with the key tenant.

By CRISTINA SILVA, Times Staff Writer
Published October 14, 2007


ST. PETERSBURG- The recently constructed terminal at Albert Whitted Municipal Airport could be open as early as next month, city officials said.

The terminal, designed to attract new business to the airport, long considered an elite playground funded by taxpayers, will eventually feature a car rental company, a restaurant, and aircraft vendors.

City officials have been negotiating the terms of the lease since May with vendor Bay Air Flying Service, a company that already leases space at the airport and is slated to enter into a five-year agreement with the city that would allow it to manage the first floor of the two-floor terminal.

"We just have been back and forth on a number of items," said Richard Lesniak, airport manager. "We hope to have the final lease before the City Council for approval on Oct. 18."

Once the lease is approved, Bay Air can begin managing the facility at anytime, Lesniak said.

The terminal has been vacant since construction ended in August.

Longtime airport supporters said they are thrilled the city is finally on the cusp of resolving the lease. After six months of negotiations, many feared the terminal would never open.

"It's bureaucratic slowness," said Jack Tunstill, chairman of the Albert Whitted Advisory Committee, and a flight instructor at the airport.

"You've got a facility sitting here that is not generating revenue, and we keep telling everyone that the airport ought to generate revenue and not be a burden on the city of St. Petersburg."

Regardless whether the negotiations are finalized or not, city officials said the terminal will be open to the public during the annual St. Petersburg AirFest, Oct. 19-21 at the airport.

Cristina Silva can be reached at 727 893-8846 or

[Last modified October 13, 2007, 22:06:34]

Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters