homepage logo

Ogden looks to improve airport’s operation following unfavorable legislative audit

The city also is seeking a new airport manager will work with outside consultant group

By Rob Nielsen - | May 8, 2024

Tim Vandenack, Standard-Examiner file photo

Signage for the Ogden-Hinckley Airport off 31st Street and Airport Road, photographed Monday, Nov. 27, 2023.

OGDEN — Ogden-Hinckley Airport serves as a front door for the community, but a recent audit has called into question the state of this gateway to the region.

Last month, the Utah Legislature’s Legislative Audit Subcommittee released a report on the airport’s performance and held a hearing with city officials regarding the state of the airport.

One of the main issues identified in the report — which did not factor in litigation between hangar owners and the city — was the lack of oversight of hangar inspections.

“We found that a little more than half of the hangars (126/244) have no record of a building and code inspection,” the report says.

The audit also found a lack of planning had helped lead to losses at the airport.

“From 2006 to 2022, the operating loss at the airport ranged from about $160,000 to $1.7 million. The City subsidized this loss with money from its General Fund or Business Depot Ogden Fund (a total of $15 million). For a decade, the City has focused on decreasing the operating loss at OGD, with little success,” the report said. “A significant factor in this stagnation has been insufficient planning; specific goals for financial improvement have been neither set nor monitored.”

The Legislative Audit Subcommittee made several recommendations, including:

  • “Recommendation 1.1: We recommend that Ogden-Hinckley Airport develop and follow a periodic inspection process to ensure that all hangars comply with (Federal Aviation Administration) hangar use requirements and Ogden City Code.”
  • “Recommendation 1.2: We recommend that Ogden City develop requirements that are mandatory for the airport manager.
  • “Recommendation 1.3: We recommend that Ogden City follow industry guidelines and develop a process to periodically update its airport master plan every ten years or when local aviation conditions change.”
  • “Recommendation 2.1: We recommend that Ogden-Hinckley Airport improve its master plan by establishing performance measures that can be evaluated to track progress toward the plan’s vision.”
  • “Recommendation 2.2 We recommend that Ogden-Hinckley Airport formalize a process to analyze whether its allocation of resources drives the airport towards its vision and goals.”
  • “Recommendation 2.3: We recommend that Ogden-Hinckley Airport communicate the results of using the Management Cycle framework with relevant stakeholders, including the Airport Advisory Committee, the City Council, and the mayor. This communication should indicate whether implemented strategies were successful in achieving the vision of the master plan and, if not, what adjustments will be made to the strategies.”

Ogden City Marketing & Communications Manager Mike McBride told the Standard-Examiner in an email: “We are grateful to the Legislature and to the Audit Committee and staff for their time and consideration during this process. We understand and agree with these findings and steps are being taken to implement recommended changes.”

He said the city already is in the process of finding a key figure to helping rectify some of these issues.

“We are currently conducting a national search for a new Airport Manager who will meet qualification standards in accordance with audit findings,” he wrote. “This is underway, with a high priority.”

Additionally, McBride said the city also will be bringing in outside help to study a path forward on other facets of the recommendations.

“Ogden City has contracted with a 3rd party consultant, Aeroplex, and work is currently underway with many areas of focus including review of Ogden City Title 8, Ogden City Administrative Policy, as it pertains to airport management, lease agreements, and Fixed Base Operator (FBO) recommendations,” he said. “The audit has helped establish a path to work forward utilizing best practice standards, with collaboration from Airport Stakeholders.”

He said the hope is to identify changes that add to the sustainability of the airport.

“We look forward to implementing sustainable and viable changes at the Ogden Airport that include outcomes that will ultimately best serve the people of Ogden, airport stakeholders, and the surrounding community,” he said.


Join thousands already receiving our daily newsletter.

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)