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Felts Field operator since 1976 to quit

Thu., March 4, 2010, midnight

Airport board seeking to replace company

Felts Field Aviation Inc. will cease most operations at Spokane’s general aviation airport by April 1.

In a statement released Wednesday, the company said it has been unable to negotiate new leases with Spokane International Airport, which manages Felts and Spokane International airports.

As the airport’s fixed-base operator, Felts Field Aviation has provided hangar space, fuel, flight instruction and tie-down, as well as airplane rental, repair and parts, since 1976.

The company said it will continue to provide air charter service.

Company officials could not be reached for additional information.

But airports Director Neal Sealock said the board of directors requested proposals from potential replacement FBOs last summer.

There were no takers, he said, so a revised request is expected within the next few weeks.

“We’re adamant that we want the best operation possible,” Sealock said.

Airport board member Dave Holmes, who hangars a plane at Felts Field, said Felts Aviation has been phasing out its operations in recent months.

“It’s really important to have mechanics on the field,” he said, as well as flight instruction.

There are several other sources of fuel at the airport, Holmes said.

He said the economic downturn has reduced demands for all kinds of services, and aviation is no different.

“It’s a hard time to start an FBO,” he said.

Total operations at Felts Field increased slightly in 2009 compared with 2008.

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