March 1, 2013

Clinton County gets tenant for airport

PLATTSBURGH — Clinton County has a new tenant at Plattsburgh International Airport.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. will be given a one-year deal to lease a hangar at the airport to store helicopters.

The deal is not expected to create any local jobs, but it will bring the county $200,000 in annual rent, which will go toward operation of the airport.

“This is a very nice lease for us,” County Legislature Chairman Jimmy Langley (R-Area 7, Peru) told the Press-Republican.


Sikorsky, which is based in Connecticut, produces a variety of helicopters for military and commercial use. Some of their more well-known products are Black Hawk and Seahawks helicopters.

The company also has produced the helicopters used for transporting every American president since Dwight Eisenhower.

Deputy County Administrator Rodney Brown said the helicopters will be stored in Nose Dock 2 on the east side of the flight line.

The building, which was recently renovated, has been sitting empty for the last two years. Federal Express and United Parcel Service had formerly leased the building.

Brown said about 20 helicopters can fit in the hangar.

The aircraft will be stored until they can be distributed to purchasers.

Brown said the lease should be finalized by sometime in April.


Legislator Sara Rowden (D-Area 4, Town of Plattsburgh), who serves on the Airport Committee, said the helicopters will be trucked in and stored. 

“They won’t be flying in and out of here, but there has been some discussion of them possibly doing some testing at some point, and we certainly have the room for that,” she said.

Sikorsky had a plant in Big Flats, near Ithaca, until the start of this year, when it was closed. Citing cuts in the federal defense budget and a continuing weakness in its helicopter business, Sikorsky shut down the plant, with more than 550 jobs lost.

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