REDMOND, OR -- The Redmond Airport has secured a 30-year agreement with Leading Edge Jet Center to provide general aviation services, as well as several million dollars in airport improvements. A big portion of that contract is construction of a 24,000-square foot executive aircraft hangar.
Leading Edge Aviation President and CEO Brad Fraley says a hangar on the south end of the airport houses smaller aircraft, but higher-end jets don't fit, "They can range from a couple million dollars up to $60 million aircraft, and they don’t like to leave them outside." He says creating a place to store those multi-million dollar planes increases the region’s marketability, "Those people that want to come in and invest usually fly in on a jet and then they’ll look at what kind of facilities can support business as well as their aviation – their aircraft. It’s kind of grown; we’ve seen businesses come in and then be able to keep their airplanes that they do their business out of, and have them based in Redmond, which is great." He tells KBND News, "It’s a huge economic driver for Central Oregon to be able to have facilities like this that we can support those aircraft for those investors to come into the region. And, be able to leave their jets, go do their business, come back in, and then be supported. We do deicing, we have full service lav carts and water systems, which was lacking before. So, we’re able to take care of those people and get them in and get them out, and let them get their business done." He expects to break ground on the new hangar within 18 months.
Leading Edge has been at the Redmond Airport since 2015, and Fraley says business increases each year. The company is committed to investing $5 million within three years, in addition to its lease payments to the city-owned airport. It also plans to build a 6,000-square foot office building and make $100,000 in improvements to an existing World War II hangar. The annual lease payments, under the new deal, increase from the current $49,000 to $129,000, and will rise over time. Roberts Field also collects seven-cents for every gallon of jet fuel dispensed by Leading Edge, generating around $315,000 a year.