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After 40 Years, Air Wilmington Could Have New Owner

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Feb 19, 2018
Officials with the New Hanover County Airport Authority and Wilmington International Airport have confirmed that a sale of Air Wilmington is pending.

President and CEO of Air Wilmington Bill Cherry, the longtime owner of the private fixed-base operator (FBO), is looking to sell his stock in Air Wilmington, according to Carter Lambeth, chairman of the airport authority board.

The board unanimously gave its OK to the potential sale at its meeting Feb. 7, he said. According to Lambeth, the name Air Wilmington would remain along with its employees.

Cherry did not immediately return a call for comment Monday afternoon. Reached last week, Cherry did not acknowledge the deal but said he would discuss Air Wilmington Inc. later this week.

Air Wilmington serves the flight crews and passengers of corporate, general aviation and military aircraft.

Lambeth said the current owner Cherry is selling his interest in the company to New York-based Modern Aviation LLC, which is made up of two principal owners.

One principal owner is Mark Carmen, who was formerly with CM Equity Partners LP, Lambeth said. CM Equity Partners is not involved in Air Wilmington.

Air Wilmington has been on the aviation field at ILM since 1975, and the airport leases the land to the private business.

The business has been owned by Cherry and his family for more than 40 years, said Gary Broughton, deputy director of ILM. The FBO's ownership transfer could take place by the end of the month, Broughton said.

Further details about the potential sale and company were not immediately available.

Correction: This story has been corrected to indicate Mark Carmen was formerly with CM Equity Partners LP. CM Equity Partners is not involved in Air Wilmington.
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