Braden Airpark still could be sold

In addition to identifying properties it wants to buy from the airport authority,

Rockefeller Group’s April 15 letter of intent also lists five parcels of airport land – totaling nearly 182 acres – that it is not interested in buying.

Four of those properties, ranging from 17 to 74 acres, are in Hanover, Forks and East Allen townships in Northampton County. The smallest, just under two acres, is in Bethlehem.

Betters said the authority can sell or lease those properties on its own, with Rockefeller or with another broker.

The 74.37 site in Forks Township that Rockefeller does not want is identified as Braden Airpark in the letter of intent.

Iannelli said other parties are interested in buying the Braden Airpark property but the authority has not received any offers. He said he also realizes many people do not want it to be sold.

One of those people is Paul Braden, who told the airport authority he realizes it is facing difficult economic times, but asked it to “resist the temptation to sell Braden Airpark as a short-term strategy to raise a relatively small amount of capital to help with your debt and instead embrace that grander vision for preserving airports in Pennsylvania – especially one that is really valued by the Easton and Forks community.”

Braden said his family owned and operated Braden Airpark – formerly known as Easton Airport – for almost 60 years, before selling it to the authority in 1999.

Erik Chuss, chairman of the Forks Township board of supervisors, said Braden has economic value to that area, including by helping to promote business. “An asset like Braden Airpark is gold,” said Chuss, who noted it is the only aviation facility in Northampton County.