Air Cargo Firm Looking at Kentucky Airport

Springfield-based Midline Air Freight is trying to lease a hangar at Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport for maintenance of its aircraft.

But when bids were opened last week, Midline failed to meet the minimum specifications the airport board had asked for.

So, the board voted Monday to continue negotiating with the cargo company to see if an agreement can be reached.

"This is the first time an established air cargo company has come to us," he said.

The board sees air cargo as an important part of the airport's future.

That's the main reason for the $ 12 million expansion -- which includes a 1,500-foot extension of the north-south runway to 8,000 feet -- that's scheduled for completion in 2007.

Inman said Midline has "dramatic potential for growth" in Owensboro.

No specific number of jobs has been cited yet, he said.

But the company, which hauls freight for UPS as well as newspapers for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, is growing, Inman said.

He said UPS is running out of room at the Louisville airport and is having to use warehouses away from the airport. Goods are having to be trucked to the airport to be loaded onto planes, which causes delays, he said.

But the Owensboro airport, Inman said, has more than 700 acres for warehouses where goods could be sorted, loaded onto planes and flown to Louisville to be offloaded onto larger planes.

He said there's potential for Midline to develop other Internet customers to ship out of Owensboro.

"Our fuel flow fees are half what some airports are charging," Inman said. "We offer a lot of advantages."

The board is hoping to know if it can reach an agreement with Midline by its March 20 meeting.

In other business, Chris May of May Electric told the board he wants to buy the Owensboro Aviation hangars and lease storage space to up to 18 planes.

He said he's hoping to keep costs at around $ 160 a month -- about $ 20 lower than he's paying now to store his planes there.

"I want to try to keep general aviation here," May said. "The high prices are driving people away. Everything is getting so expensive, a lot of people are getting out of aviation. I'm 46 and I think I'm the youngest pilot here."

Board members said they will work with May to see if his plans meet their specifications.


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