West Deer officials left to wonder about status of airport property
West Deer officials are wondering what the status of the Pittsburgh Northeast Airport is as it appears any development has stopped at the site.
Township supervisors said they haven’t received an update recently and worry the owners may not be keeping up with required maintenance, including the inspection and maintenance of a retention pond on the property.
The airport was bought for $9 million in 2014 by Alaskan Property Management, a subsidiary of Management Science Associates, after the former owner filed for bankruptcy. The property formerly was known as Rock Airport.
Township Manager Daniel Mator said he was in contact with the owner a few years ago regarding plans to get the airport up and running again, but those were halted when the Federal Aviation Agency denied an application to extend the runway.
“When that happened, everything else just went quiet,” Mator said.
Supervisor John DiSanti said he believes the items approved as part of the original developer’s agreement have been overlooked by the new owners.
“I think we need to be pro-active now,” he said.
Engineer Scott Shoup said the last time a thorough evaluation of the property was done was in 2014.
“At that time, there was a whole list of items,” he said. “It went the whole gamut of holding ponds to screenings to road signs.”
Township Solicitor Sam Happel is expected to reach out to the company to get an update on their plans for the 268-acre parcel.
Mator said no planes are using the airport right now, but there still are businesses at the business park located on the property.
The Tribune-Review maintains a production facility at the business park.
Mator noted the airport is difficult to get to because the road is narrow and has a lot of curves. That has presented problems in the past.
It’s only accessible from Butler-Logan and Little Deer Creek roads.
“The problem with the airport isn’t the airport. It’s getting to the airport,” he said. “We’re always begging the state to help us out.”
Messages left for Alfred Keuhn, chairman of Management Science Associates, were not returned Wednesday.
Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 412-871-2369, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .