Lehigh Valley Airport Sells Land For $9.6 Million

Aerial photo of Lehigh Valley International Ai...

Aerial photo of Lehigh Valley International Airport (IATA: ABE, ICAO: KABE) in Hanover Township, 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority agreed Tuesday to sell 253 acres of surplus airport property to the Rockefeller Group so that it can be developed into a massive Fed-Ex Ground warehouse that could employ more than 1,000 people.

It’s a deal that could solve many of the airport’s financial problems, but it also comes with some risks. The money could take as long as two years to come, while the airport needs as much as $5 million of it by the end of next year. And if Fed-Ex decided against building in Allen Township, the airport could end up getting nothing.

In a separate move, the authority also gave Rockefeller the first option to buy another 281 acres, and encouraged the airport staff to begin negotiating to sell another 298 acres to local developers that include Lehigh Valley Industrial Park Inc.

“We know the clock is ticking and we have a [financial] gun to our head,” said authority chairman Tony Iannelli. “But this [project] is for real. We’ll all be keeping our fingers crossed.”

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-allentown-airport-authority-meeting-20131022,0,881921.story#ixzz2iUfo7CgL
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Passenger Traffic Plummets At Lehigh Valley International Airport

Aerial photo of Lehigh Valley International Ai...

Aerial photo of Lehigh Valley International Airport (IATA: ABE, ICAO: KABE) in Hanover Township, 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyone walking into Lehigh Valley International Airport will notice the shiny new terrazzo floor, the modern glass architecture and the new LV Cafe — the result of a $14 million makeover that took three years.

But what is also noticeable is that lately there are relatively few passengers to enjoy the new amenities.

Passenger traffic has plummeted at LVIA after three airlines left in the past year, and airport administrators will soon announce “austerity” measures that could include job cuts, fee increases and business contract reviews.

Analysts say it’s part of a national trend in which skyrocketing fuel costs have prompted air carriers like American to pull their planes from smaller regional airports. And with no relief in sight for jet fuel prices that are up 443 percent over a decade ago, it’s a situation that’s likely to get worse before it gets better.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-abe-airport-traffic-20121013,0,1104899.story