The general aviation terminal at San Bernardino International Airport that has cost about $20 million to build officially had its red ribbon cut on Friday, signaling the official start of business at the Million Air San Bernardino building.
Granted, there are still a few things that aren’t finished. Both hangars still have office space under construction, and a customs facility to handle international flights is also being built.
At the grand opening event Friday night, a bevvy of flying objects including a 737, a helicopter, fighter jets and corporate jets were parked on the runway.
At one point, a landing helicopter interrupted Mayor Pat Morris’ remarks.
“Sheriff, that’s your damn helicopter!” he said from the dais, joking with Sheriff Rod Hoops who sat in the audience.
Nearby, non-flying vehicles provided by West Coast Customs were on display. Why cars on a runway? The airport thought the company’s high-end custom cars that often feature flat-screen televisions inside, special rims, surround sound, etc. matched the luxury customer they hope to have land there. That, and West Coast Customs apparently knew the electrician who worked on the hangars.
According to a flier that was handed out at the event, there are incentives for those among the first to give the airport a try, including early bird specials (subsidized lease rates) and fuel price reductions.
Among the dignitaries who had their name dropped during the event for attending:
Jack Brown, CEO of Stater Bros.
John Magness, senior vice president with Hillwood
Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands
SB County Supervisor Josie Gonzales
SB County Sheriff Rod Hoops
San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris
Numerous Inland Valley Development Agency and San Bernardino International Airport Authority board members
Councilmembers from the city of Highland, Loma Linda, Redlands and San Bernardino
Representatives from Diane Feinstein’s office and Joe Baca’s office
Who wasn’t there?
I didn’t see Greg Devereaux, the county’s new administrative officer, or Mary Jane Olhasso with the county’s economic development agency. I also didn’t see Neil Derry, a San Bernardino County supervisor who also sits on the IVDA and SBIAA boards.
Derry was recently quoted in the Highland Community News publication as saying that: San Bernardino International Airport probably will never be the economic engine it was expected to be when the conversion first started, according to the July 29 story.
The two-story 14,000-square-foot terminal features high-end architectural features and has no shortage of flat screen television sets (in the conference room, lobby, quiet room, movie theater and even in a bathroom mirror).
On a Million Air comment card, the company’s credo is printed:
“Million Air is a place where the genuine care and exceptional service to our customers and guests is our highest mission.
We vow to provide the finest personal service and facilities for our pilots and guests who will always enjoy a warm, relaxed yet distinguished ambience.
The Million Air experience enlivens the senses, instills well being, and fulfills even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our pilots and guests.”
Or apparently another one of their credos printed inside the brochure for Million Air San Bernardino:
“Ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen – that’s the Million Air experience”
You wouldn’t want harlots and drunks serving ladies and gentlemen – that just wouldn’t work.
Million Air has 60,000 square feet of leasable hangar space and 26,000 square feet of office space.