Airport, Spartan cement deal

Tulsa Airports Improvement Trustees and Spartan Aviation Industries Inc. worked out details Thursday of a land sale, lease-back and school expansion plans on a consolidated Pine Street campus.

As the parent company of Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology, Spartan Aviation Industries agreed to sell for $6 million the college's 11.8-acre North campus, just west of Tulsa International Airport's passenger terminal, to TAIT in August. The land sale is expected to close in November, airport executives said.

Now occupied by hangars, classrooms and administrative offices that Spartan hopes to consolidate on its Pine Street campus at 8820 E. Pine St., the Spartan property is prime development land, officials say.

TAIT officials say the land could be redeveloped for a relocated terminal exit roadway as well as commercial aviation businesses.

But until Spartan can construct more classrooms and facilities at its Pine Street campus, it must sublease a portion of its North campus from TAIT, said Brent Mills, vice chairman and general counsel for Spartan Aviation Industries.

Trustees agreed to sublease for three years the east half of the Spartan North campus property to Spartan for $10,000 a year.

The board approved a lease amendment with Premier Jet Centers Inc., a fixed-base operator at Tulsa International.

Premier is leasing a small parcel south of the Spartan property. Trustees agreed to add a portion of the Spartan land to the Premier lease at a rate of 22 cents per square foot or about $40,000 per year, effective with the closing of the Spartan-TAIT land sale in November, said Airports Director Jeff Mulder.

The board discussed Spartan's request for a 30-year lease of 5.4 acres west of the Pine Street campus.

Mills said Spartan plans to build a two-story, 100,000-square-foot classroom addition on the property. Construction could begin within a year, he said.

City Councilor Roscoe Turner, who has urged the board to acquire 400 homes in the neighboring Layman Van Acres subdivision because of excessive aircraft noise, said neither he nor the residents were advised of Spartan's plans on Pine Street.

"I would appreciate it if you would look at this and delay this . . . until you talk with the people," Turner said.

Mulder advised the board that he had written the Federal Aviation Administration about amending the airport's noise mitigation program for the possible inclusion of the Layman Van Acres properties. The agency has not yet responded, he said.

"I'm not sure we want to delay this, but I think we need to communicate better with the neighbors," said TAIT Chairwoman Meredith Siegfried.

Trustee Charles Sublett asked Mills if Spartan would be operating jet engines in the new facilities.

"Can you assure us the noise levels wouldn't increase because of your facility?" asked Trustee Carl Clay.

"Yes, sir, and we can put it in the lease if you prefer," Mills said.

Sublett asked Mills if he would be available at a public meeting with the residents to answer questions.

Mills said he would make himself available for a public meeting, adding that residents could call him at 520-6886.

Trustees unanimously approved Spartan's 30-year lease.

D.R. Stewart 581-8451