Commander facility may close

December 13, 2010

The new owner of the Commander Premier Aircraft company located in Cape Girardeau, Mo., has not yet purchased the factory’s 52,000-square-foot building, a deal breaker that could result in the company being forced to move. European banker Ronald Strauss, living in Montreal, has tried to complete the building purchase since 2009.

City officials told local TV station KFVS they might have to sell the building in 2011, or failing that, convert it to an aircraft storage or refueling facility. At the moment the building is restricted through bond funding terms to aircraft manufacturing use, but the airport board is considering removing that restriction next April. That’s the earliest the bonds can be restructured, the TV station said.

Commander Premier Aircraft took over the space five years ago. Strauss could not be reached for comment. In the past, he has indicated difficulty with banks in getting loans during an economic recession.

Al Marsh

Alton K. Marsh | "AOPA Pilot" Senior Editor, AOPA

AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.