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Wed, Feb 20, 2013

Pennsylvania's Braden Airpark Losing FBO

But Authorities Say The Airport Will Remain Open For GA Traffic

Amid questions about the airport's future, Moyer Aviation is ending a relationship of more than 20 years at Braden Airpark in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley and consolidating its operations at Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport (KMPO).

The company had been providing FBO and air charter services at Braden Airpark (N43) on a month-to-month lease. They have been offered a long-term lease at KMPO, and owner Vern Moyer told the Lehigh Vally Business newspaper that the larger facility at KMPO would give him an opportunity to expand his business.

The move comes as the Lehigh-Northhampton Airport Authority, which owns Braden Airpark as well as Lehigh Valley International Airport in Lehigh County, PA, and Queen City Airport in Allentown, PA, faces a 2015 deadline for settling a $16 million dollar lawsuit that dates back to the 1990s. The authority has reportedly considered selling Braden Airpark as a way to generate some of the cash that it needs to pay of the debt. Charles Everett, executive director for the authority, said that there are no plans to close or sell the airport, and that he is not sure what its 80 acres are worth. N43 is considered a reliever airport for the larger Lehigh Valley International (KABE), and one that Robert Rockmaker, executive director of the Aviation Council of Pennsylvania, says is an important economic engine to the region.

N43 is privately funded, so there are no FAA AIP grants to be considered should the authority decide that it wants to close and sell the airport. PennDOT awarded about $1.7 million to Braden for several projects over six years beginning in 2001, according to the paper.

FMI: www.lvia.org

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