Flanked by City Council President Jewel Cannada-Wynn and Council members Larry B. Johnson, Andy Terhaar, and Brian Spencer, Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward this afternoon signed a contract with OHM Concessions Group to provide food and beverage concessions at Pensacola International Airport.
“I am taking this action today to end the political gridlock over this issue, and to secure the best deal for our airport and the traveling public,” said Hayward. “It is time for us to move forward and continue to position our airport to succeed.”
At its March 13 meeting, a majority of Council members voted to extend the contract of the current concessions vendor, an action which the City Attorney and an outside legal opinion both advised the Council did not have the legal authority to take. Earlier this week, Hayward said that the Council “took an improper action” and issued a veto of the Council’s resolution out of an abundance of caution.
Hayward said the contract with OHM will bring more than $1 million of additional revenue to Pensacola International Airport. According to Airport officials, there will be no interruption in concessions service during the transition. In addition, OHM has ensured that at least 60% of its goods and services purchases will be made with local vendors, and the company is a certified Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE).
“Increasing non-airline revenue will allow our airport to reduce charges to airlines,” said Hayward, “allowing us to better compete for new carriers, new routes, and a larger share of the future for our city.”
Under the contract, OHM will create 100 jobs at Pensacola International Airport. Employees of the current vendor will have the opportunity to interview, and OHM will hold a job fair at the airport on March 25-27.