SBD AIRCRAFT WRAPPING UP PLAN TO BUY BLUE'S AVIATION; Planes: The $2.5 Million Deal Is Being Finalized. Blue's Will Be Combined With Million Air.

After operating for more than a decade through some of the toughest times at the San Bernardino International Airport, aviation services company Blue's Aviation is in negotiations to sell itself to the airport's master tenant, officials said Thursday.

SBD Aircraft Services LLC plans to buy Blue's Aviation from Don Blue and eventually combine the company with the new Million Air general aviation venture, said Scot Spencer, SBD's general manager.

In May, SBD Aircraft Services announced it had bought the Million Air franchise and would build a $7 million complex to house the general aviation operation to provide fuel and other services to private aircraft.

Though the deal is still being finalized, Spencer said SBD will purchase Blue's for $2.5 million and will contract with Million Air to run Blue's until the new operation is running.

The airport will spend about $2.3 million to buy Blue out of his lease of the hangar there.

Blue's focuses mostly on servicing small propeller-driven craft, while Million Air works on jet aircraft.

Spencer said deal will be complete in the next week and the change in management at Blue's could occur in two weeks.

Blue will stay on for a month as a consultant, Spencer said.

"When we asked him to stay on longer than the 30 days, he said he'd rather get down to the business of fishing," Spencer said. Blue did not return calls for comment.

Michael Burrows, the airport's assistant director, said after SBD announced the Million Air franchise, Blue expressed interest in selling.

"I believe he's just thinking about retirement," Burrows said. "The guy has really done a bang-up job and been with us through some tough times."

The airport will soon begin construction on a fuel storage facility, but for now Blue's, which employs nine workers, is the only source of fuel at the airport.

"So keeping the operation going is really important for us," Burrows said.

Spencer said he plans to keep the Million Air and Blue's operations separate for now.

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Reach staff writer Josh Brown at 909-806-3074 or