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Monday 29 October 2012

Atlantic Aviation plans Airport investment

Atlantic Aviation plans major investment in new facilities to serve general aviation traffic at Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

The company headquartered at Plano, Texas, is making its move after the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority put the kibosh on a development deal with Million Air, which was planning $20 million in facilities to serve private aircraft.

The airport’s staff on Oct. 17 told Million Air that it was terminating the company’s leases, including the lease of property near Rock Boulevard and Mill Street that was to be the site of the expansive general-aviation facility.

The airport expects to take possession of the Million Air premises this week.

In mid-summer, airport executives said that Houston-based Million Air had missed deadlines to submit plans for the facility and was late in payments to the airport.

Million Air had said it expected to open the first phase of the $20 million general-aviation center, including hangars, fueling operations, meeting rooms and offices, next spring. Although a taxiway was built to serve the site, no other construction had begun.

The company’s headquarters did not respond last week to a request from Northern Nevada Business Weekly to provide further details about its operations in Reno.

Atlantic Aviation, a long-established company on the airport, will continue to sell fuel, both for general aviation craft as well as the passenger and cargo craft that use facilities on the west side of the airport.

Brian Kulpin, a spokesman for the airport, said Atlantic plans a multi-dollar expansion of its facilities in Reno, including major new facilities along Rock Boulevard on the east side of the airport. A company spokeswoman didn’t respond to a request last week to provide more details about its plans.

While some aircraft owners worry about possible price-gouging if Atlantic is the only fuel provider at the airport, Kulpin said the company slashed $1 a gallon off the price of a commonly used aircraft fuel delivered to planes based at Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

Atlantic also will manage the general aviation hangars at the airport.

While the Million Air facility had been seen as one of the building-blocks of a cluster of general-aviation companies at the airport, Kulpin said the failure of that project doesn’t harm the airport’s economic-development strategy.

Along with a stronger presence by Atlantic Aviation, the airport has seen development of a major maintenance facility for Dassault aircraft as well as a jet-maintenance facility operated by Western Jet of Van Nuys, Calif.

Shekhar Gupta
Capt. Shekhar Gupta [ Pilot, DIAM, M.Ae.S.I., MAOPA [USA] ] 
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