April 7, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
It could be a matter of days before Extra Aircraft, which had hoped to assemble EA500 business turboprops in Montrose, Colo., decides to look for a new home in Colorado. The company has not been able to get the lease it had expected from the county.
Initially the firm was to assemble the German-built aircraft in temporary facilities to be leased from county officials. The county finds itself embroiled in an unrelated legal case involving the airport that could, if lost in court, be very expensive for the county.
Extra officials demanded the lease they had been promised, but when it came, it was based on commercial rates rather than the incentive rates discussed last year. That may be the last straw for Extra, which has its eye on facilities elsewhere.
In October 2010, AOPA reported that the deal should not be considered as complete. It still isn’t complete. There were extreme complications during the negotiation of the original deal.
The mood at the moment remains hopeful. That could change next week, an Extra official said.
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.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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