Delaware company sues Mahoning airport, claiming aircraft was damaged there

A Wilmington, Del., company is suing Mahoning Township's Jake Arner Memorial Airport, saying an aircraft that was kept in a hangar at the airstrip was damaged.

Fitzgerald Air Inc. has filed the suit against the Carbon County Airport Authority, claiming propellers on a twin-engine plane were damaged while it was in the airport's care.

Chairman Paul Smith said Thursday at an authority meeting that officials were served in late September with the suit, which seeks more than $9,000 compensation and was filed in county court. The suit claims that on or about March 13, Fitzgerald found damage to the propeller.

The plane was taken in April from the hangar space that Fitzgerald rented.

Smith said that damage to a plane's propeller would require the engine to be checked.

Citing the active suit, Smith declined to comment on the matter.

Also Thursday, Smith said the authority is still waiting for a Federal Aviation Administration grant of $38,000 to pay off the balance for the airport's West Ramp Project, which totaled $376,889.

Smith said he will track down the grant.

Also, Smith said state planners, possibly next week, will conduct a study for a project to mitigate trees in the approach areas of a runway. The trees must be removed or have lighting installed near them.

Smith said he doesn't see the point of installing lighting near the trees.

"The bottom line is, the trees have to come down," Smith said.

Smith said rent increase notices were sent out to all airport tenants and he has heard no reaction.

The rent increases, which were announced at September's meeting, go into effect Jan. 1.

Christopher R. Mena is a freelance writer.