The county Board of Supervisors agreed to loan the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport more than $1.6 million to help build a rental car quick-turnaround facility — a project that has been on and off the drawing board for more than a decade.
The notion of a rental car turnaround surfaced in the late 1990s and over the next decade was buffeted and stalled by many factors, most of them financial and related to the recession.
Now, however, it appears to be all systems go.
“If all goes well, I would hope the project gets built in 12 to 18 months,” Airport Manager Richard Howell wrote in an email. “We are finishing up design work and still have some environmental documents to complete. Then there are the selection and construction processes.”
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Howell said the airport hosts four rental car companies, which collectively rent about 20,000 vehicles a year.
The facility will be on 2.5 acres at the airport and will include a staging area and wash facilities.
The loan of $1,659,888 is to be repaid to the county with money collected through customer facility charges.
The board approved the loan with a 5-0 vote, with no discussion.
The project “will benefit both the airport and the rental car agencies with respect to future revenues and the ability to accommodate more customers,” Howell wrote in a report to the supervisors.