Airport looking for replacement for North State

Airport looking for replacement for North State
April 06
05:50 2017



Smith Reynolds Airport’s biggest tenant, North State Aviation, recently announced it’s closing down and laying off its 345 employees.

Airport Commission Chairman Scott Piper said it was sad, sudden news when the airport was informed of the closure and layoffs. North State did maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) on Boeing 737s and 757s. Piper said he hoped to get a new tenant in the hangar as soon as possible.

“We’ve got to do our best to get this facility rented,” he said. “The nice thing about what we have today, com-pared to when North State started, is we have a maintenance hangar operation that is turnkey and ready to go. It has been improved upon in the last six years. It’s in the best shape it’s ever been.”

North State, which opened in 2011, said its actions are due to an “unforeseen significant downturn in business” in a notice it filed with the state because of the layoffs. The company had a second location in Kinston, which has already shutdown.

Piper said that North State’s difficulties were not the aviation industry. In fact, he said the airport’s gotten several inquiries about the hangar, but there’s “nothing concrete at this point.”

“I am optimistic that the future looks good for the use of that building,” he said.

Piper said that the new vacancy in that hangar is the only one currently on the airfield.

“We have done a very good job of maximizing the revenue opportunities we have at the airport,” he said. “We have filled up everything we can with tenants.”

Smith Reynolds Airport, which is located on North Liberty Street,  also serves corporate and recreational air travel. Its other tenants include Piedmont Flight Training School, Piedmont Aircraft Sales, Piedmont Aviation Components and Piedmont Propulsion Systems, LLC. Among the Forsyth Tech bond projects scheduled to start construction next year is a space for a program at the airport to train students to work on the mechanical bodies of planes.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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