Capital City Airport sells jet center

UFS-Aero, a diversified aviation services provider, is the new owner of Harrisburg Jet Center at Capital City Airport in Fairview Twp.

UFS-Aero, based in Horsham, intends to add more jets and helicopter services at the airport, which has been losing money for years.

Harrisburg Jet Center has been the airport's fixed-based operator since 1967. A fixed-based operator provides aircraft support services such as maintenance, fuel sales and hangar storage. It also has provided charter services and a flight school.

The Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority owns Capital City and Harrisburg International airports. Because of the losses at Capital City, the authority has had to divert funds from HIA to Capital City.

The authority, which acquired both airports from the state in 1998, has cut the annual Capital City deficit from more than $500,000 to less than $100,000. The authority has renegotiated old leases on terms better for the airport and most recently enacted landing fees paid by most transient aircraft.

In March, the authority had approved transferring nine Harrisburg Jet Center leases to UFS-Aero.

Still, general aviation operations at Capital City as of March 31 are down 26 percent compared with the same period in 2006.

Tim Edwards, the authority's executive director, hopes more aircraft will start using Capital City after the UFS-Aero deal.

Hoyt W. Bangs, president of UFS-Aero, could not be reached yesterday. Bangs lives near Philadelphia but is from Cumberland County.

"My roots in the Harrisburg area are extensive, and when this opportunity arose to expand the UFS-Aero jet service facilities with the acquisition of the Harrisburg Jet Center Inc., I did not hesitate," Bangs said in a statement. "Harrisburg Jet Center Inc. is rich in capabilities and has a long history in both the Harrisburg and aviation community."

UFS-Aero was founded in 1976 as Horsham Valley Airways to provide regional medical emergency helicopter services. The company now provides helicopter and jet services worldwide.

Bangs said UFS-Aero is transferring aircraft to Capital City and will be adding helicopter services by the end of summer.

DAN MILLER: 255-8440 or