Airport switches operator

The Altoona-Blair County Airport Authority will allow its fixed-based operator to transfer responsibilities and obligations to a newly formed limited liability corporation.

The authority, during a special meeting, voted Tuesday in favor of accepting IG Flight Services LLC as the airport’s FBO, which typically handles aircraft fuel sales, aircraft maintenance and other aviation-related services.

Those responsibilities, since Jan. 1, 2011, have been in the hands of DeGol Jet Center II after months of negotiating a lease outlining responsibilities and payments.

As of Friday, they’ll be handled by IG Flight Services LLC, which will set up inside what’s known as the airport’s welcome center or the building with the blue roof.

The terms of the lease, including responsibilities and related payments, will be assumed by IG Flight Services LLC, authority solicitor David Pertile said Tuesday.

IG Flight Services President Vince Mojta of Hesston said he also wants to pursue efforts that will bring more traffic to the airport, through flying clubs and flying schools.

“We feel we can take what DeGol has had here and make it better,” Mojta said outside the meeting. “We’re sort of a new set of eyes here.”

The airport authority members had no specific explanation for the change.

Pertile told the airport authority members that under the lease it has with DeGol, the responsibilities can be transferred, with the authority’s concurrence.

“I see this as a good thing,” authority Chairman Tom Hite said.

The authority members voted unanimously in favor and shook hands with Mojta after the meeting.

Mojta said he has been in aviation since 1982 and retains a pilot’s license. He said he also has a background in aircraft maintenance and operations.

Airport authority member Marty Marasco said he is aware of some of the investors in IG Flight Services LLC. Mojta declined to name the investors because he said they wanted to remain anonymous.

Pertile said the transfer agreement will designate that IG Flight Services will be responsible for the welcome center. The agreement will also note that DeGol Jet Center II has sufficient space for aircraft repairs in its hangar, so if it desires, it can offer that service to others.

Also, DeGol Jet Center II will retain access to a self-service aircraft fuel pump next to its hangar that will not be open to the public. IG Flight Services LLC will handle aircraft fuel sales from the fuel farm that’s been under construction this summer.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.