Jackson airport officials have cut out six contracts and more than $3 million in consulting fees in an effort to save money in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to data obtained through an open record request, the contracts were let by the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority (JMAA) and were with architectural firms, marketing firms, engineers and other consultants.
The combined value for all of the agreements was a little more than $6.12 million, of which about half has been saved.
JMAA manages the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport and Hawkins Field.
At one point this spring, passenger volume was 97 percent down at Jackson-Evers, according to JMAA Chief Executive Officer Paul Brown.
Meanwhile, at Hawkins Field, flight volumes for the first five months of the year dropped 24 percent.
“Lower passenger volume impacts parking, (the) rental car business, concessions demand, passenger facility charges, landing fees and many other areas,” he said.
Numbers began to rebound in May, he said.
With decreased revenues, JMAA reduced its workforce by seven percent and reduced consulting contracts by approximately half.
Those contracts included a $3.8 million agreement with Kimley-Horn and Associates, a $1,084,000 contract with the Leo A. Daly Company, a $679,000 contract with Alliance Architects, a $459,950 contract with BBC, a $76,000 contract with Duvall Decker Architects and a $14,500 agreement with Fahrenheit Creative Group, open records data shows.
The Kimley-Horn agreement was for “project management support services, in which the consultant performed professional architectural, engineering, planning and related consulting services.”
The national firm was brought on in 2017 to help draw up a land use plan for the airport.
Approximately $1.5 million remains on that contract.
Leo A. Daly, out of Omaha, was retained to provide “professional architectural, engineering and related consulting services for the consolidated rental car facility project at (Jackson-Evers).”
The initial contract as for $1,084,000, with $597,038.71 remaining on it.
BBC was hired for $495,950 to conduct a disadvantaged business enterprise study. Work on the project had yet to get under way at the time the contract was terminated, records show.
Alliance Architects was brought on to help JMAA determine how to modernize its passenger terminal building. About $439,578.36 remains on the $679,000 contract.
JMAA plans to incorporate this work into future projects related to terminal modifications and security checkpoint consolidation.
Duvall Decker was providing consulting services to reconfigure the security checkpoint at Jackson-Evers. The Fondren-based company is still working on other contracts at the airport, documents state. The contract was for $76,000, with $45,091 remaining.
Fahrenheit was drawing up a comprehensive marketing plan for Jackson-Evers and Hawkins Field. Marketing activities have been suspended until passenger volumes return.