Lehigh Valley

Queen City Airport sale grounded... for now

Queen City Airport sale grounded... for now

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Allentown's Queen City Airport has been home base for Brad Snyder's aviation business for 12 years.

"Even with the soft economy things are turning up," Snyder said.

However political turbulence threatened to clip the business wings of Snyder and the rest of Queen Cities clients.

Talk of selling it by the Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority for development has been going on for months.

However this recent letter from the FAA to the authority has seemingly grounded those plans.

"A huge sigh of relief we are staying here," Snyder said.

The letter states before Queen City could be sold a replacement airport would have to be built first, that the airport couldn't be at LVIA or in its flight path.

Years of environmental studies would have to be done and all money made from the deal would have to be used for FAA approved projects.

"I think the real benefit is now the issue will be behind the airport," said Snyder.

Airport Authority head Charles Everett says after the letter he expects the board to vote to not sell the airport.

To build a new Queen City Airport airport officials say it would take 20 years, cost tens of millions of dollars and you'd have to find a new location.

Which officials say could be close to impossible.

However it's not detouring Allentown Mayor and LNAA Member Ed Pawlowski, who says money made from a sale could help pay off a 16 million dollar lawsuit, plus add millions of dollars in development.

"It's good for the city, good for the county, and good for the region," Pawlowski said.

For those like Snyder it finally looks like clear skies ahead.

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