Deadbird

How vicious racial politics, mismanagement, and dirty dealing turned Dallas' Redbird Airport into a Third-World airfield

Despite the interest, and a lot of talk at City Hall about Redbird as a catalyst for the area's economy, Kilgore and Sorber say the city is doing as little as it can to push their efforts along.

Says Sorber, referring to one of the breaks afforded their predecessor, "We plan to live up to our lease, but nobody is out there lending us money at 6 percent.

"I could create 25 new jobs tomorrow. My staff makes upwards of $25 an hour. But when I went to the city to see what they could do for me--could they abate my personal property taxes? Well, if I filled out a pile of paperwork and exercised everything they were offering, it added up to about a thousand bucks."

Kilgore says he, too, wonders what it will take for the city to get behind efforts to turn the airport around.

The ramps between the hangars on their leasehold have been built up with patches so many times over the years, water runs off into the buildings, he says. There are federal funds available for repaving work, but Kilgore says that he can't go after them as a private company. The city must apply.

"We're gonna have to get extremely political to get the city to do something," Kilgore says. "Nothing will happen without some prompting."

His partner agrees. "That's politics. But sometimes you need to hold that up for everybody to see."

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