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Sun, Apr 16, 2023

Vee Neal Aviation Proposes Growth

New LBE Hangars and Flight School Planned

Based at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport (LBE) in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Vee Neal Aviation offers aircraft maintenance, management, charter, brokerage, and fixed-base operator (FBO) services. The company has been in business for more than fifty-years.

On 11 April 2023, Vee Neal Aviation announced plans to grow its LBE commercial aviation operations by constructing new aircraft hangars and a flight school.

The Westmoreland County Airport Authority, which operates the airport, has granted Vee Neal and its development partner, Jodaron Realty, an exclusive two-year option to erect two new hangars at the airport’s southern end. Jodaron will pay the authority a nonrefundable $5,000 consideration for the option.

Vee Neal representative R.J. Repasky stated: "We're planning on additional growth with the charter division and management division and, hopefully, growth in the flight school, as well.”

In 2021, the Westmoreland County Airport Authority approved a new agreement with Vee Neal by which the latter entity would continue to function as a fixed-base operator at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport for another decade with an additional five-year option.

Repasky reported one of the proposed new hangars would house a flight school, "which evidently is needed in the whole aviation industry."

The U.S. Department of Labor and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) collectively estimate the coming decade will see demand form approximately 18,000 new commercial pilots. The prevailing, industry-wide tendency to conflate such estimates with auguries of an imminent pilot shortage have been repudiated by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA)—the world’s largest pilot union. ALPA’s credibility derives primarily and convincingly of the fact the organization represents more than 67,000 pilots across 39 U.S. and Canadian airlines. In stark contrast to legions of ostensible aviation industry pundits, ALPA has repeatedly and resolutely set forth that existing civil and military pilot pipelines have and shall continue to produce numbers of pilots commensurate with projected airline, corporate, and general aviation industry needs.

The opening of Vee Neal’s new flight school could, according to Repasky, add as many as seven Certified Flight Instructors (CFI) to the organization’s current roster of four instructors.

"The big benefit of it,” Repasky opined, “is the additional pilots that will be in the industry, several hundred pilots.”

Speaking to the subject of Vee Neal Aviation’s new hangars, Repasky added: "We've got to get through the engineering and all the legal parts of it."

Basing his estimate on architectural plans for such, Westmoreland County Airport Authority engineer Scott Kunselman posited each of Vee Neal’s new hangars will occupy some 15,000-square-feet. Mr. Kunselman further stated the proposed development could occasion an eventual move to group corporate hangers and smaller T-shaped hangars in separate locations on the LBE airport property.



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