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Aircraft Mechanic, Bank Ready To Lease General Aviation Space At ILM

By Jenny Callison, posted Feb 12, 2016
Two new leases waiting for approval at Wilmington International Airport will change the general aviation landscape there.

SeaHawk Aviation Inc., based in Wilmington, wants to lease the space at the airport’s vacant south hangar most recently occupied by fixed base operator (FBO) Aviat Mall, which pulled out of ILM in May 2015. ILM deputy director Gary Broughton explained Friday that SeaHawk will serve as a SASO –special aviation service operation – rather than offering a full range of services required of an FBO.  
“He will be doing inspections and maintenance – he’s an aircraft mechanic,” Broughton said of the company's owner, explaining that as an SASO, SeaHawk will not provide services such as selling planes or parts, fueling aircraft or providing training.

The SeaHawk Aviation lease is for one year, but is renewable if the company decides that there is enough business to warrant a longer term, Broughton said.

The second contract is with Wilmington-based Live Oak Bank, which wants to lease acreage at the airport to build a hangar for its three private aircraft, according to Broughton. He said the facility is in the design phase now.

Once the hangar is built, Live Oak will be required by federal regulations to do all fueling and maintenance on its aircraft at the location, rather than bringing in a third party, he said. Currently, Live Oak Bank is a customer of  ILM’s fixed base operator Air Wilmington, which maintains the bank’s planes.

Both leases must be approved in a public session by the New Hanover County Airport Authority, and since the paperwork was not ready for the body’s previous regular meeting, the authority is holding a special session Monday at 5 p.m. to review the leases. Broughton said he sees the meeting as a formality and anticipates no opposition to lease approval.
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