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Fayette airport authority agrees to send hangar leases to FAA

| Thursday, June 20, 2013, 6:56 p.m.

The Fayette County Airport Authority agreed Wednesday night to submit its recently revised hangar leases to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Aviation and the Federal Aviation Administration for approval.

Authority Chairman Fred Davis said it was necessary for the authority to receive approval from the state and federal agencies because the Joseph A. Hardy Connellsville Airport is “under scrutiny by the FAA.”

The authority has been working for the past several months to correct deficiencies identified by the FAA, Davis said.

“The leases are the pressing issue that needs to be resolved at this time,” he noted.

Davis said airport employees and authority members have been working closely with the FAA to try to resolve recent deficiencies at the facility.

“The FAA wanted to review our hangar leases to make sure we are moving in the right direction,” he said.

The authority's solicitor, Bill Martin, recently met with pilots and listened to their concerns about the hangar leases, according to Davis.

“Our solicitor made changes to the leases based on what he heard from the pilots,” Davis said. “We're submitting the revised leases to the state and federal government for their approval.”

When the airport pilots and tenants sign the hangar leases, Davis said it will be another step in the process of resolving the airport's financial issues.

In an effort to find out the airport's current financial state, the authority directed newly appointed airport manager John “Buddy” Neckerauer to meet with temporary office assistant Cathy Malago to discuss the mid-year budget.

Neckerauer and Malago will present their budget findings to the authority at its July meeting.

“We need to find out how the budget has been going so far this year to determine if we need to make any adjustments,” Davis said.

Malago said she is in the process of paying $24,641 in bills.

Davis said the authority has contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue to see if penalties and fines can be waived because the authority failed to make payments from December 2012 through April this year.

“Everything has been paid, and we're current right now,” Davis said. “This is very good news for the airport. We're moving in the right direction.”

Cindy Ekas is a freelance writer.

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