JAMESTOWN – Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel has signed a long-term lease agreement with principals of Luscombe Aircraft Corporation to establish an aircraft production and sales business in a County-owned hangar at the County’s Jamestown Airport.
Wendel says the new enterprise will create new manufacturing jobs and generate lease revenue to offset airport operating costs.
“While the current public health crisis has dramatically curtailed the level of aircraft activity at the airports, we are actively planning for a rebound in private and business aviation activity once travel and related restrictions are lifted,” said Wendel. “Similarly, the County remains fully engaged with Boutique Airlines in a broad-based, community support campaign to restore commercial air service at the Jamestown Airport.”
Luscombe Aircraft Corporation will be relocating their fledgling operations from Chino, California to Chautauqua County over the next several months.
Concurrently, they will be undertaking improvements to the County’s leased hangar to equip the facility with utility infrastructure and building systems necessary to begin full scale aircraft production in the summer of 2020.
Luscombe’s production relocation and start-up in Chautauqua County is being actively supported by the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA), The Fredonia Technology Incubator at the State University of New York at Fredonia, and the Chautauqua County Department of Public Facilities’ Airports Division.
Luscombe Aircraft Corporation was formed for the purpose of acquiring licenses, designs and other assets to produce modernized variants of the Luscombe Model 8, a venerable single-engine aircraft that went out of production in the early 1970s.
Having acquired the FAA type certificates, tooling, new-old stock (NOS) parts and associated assets from the holding company that held the rights to the aircraft design, Luscombe set about identifying a site suitable for assembly, testing and marketing of its modernized designs.
The CCIDA monitored the efforts of Luscombe principals as they worked to amass the resources and necessary licenses to produce aircraft.
As Luscombe’s business aspirations developed into well-defined plans, CCIDA engaged company principals in market research, analysis of suitable regional supply chain partners, and ultimately steered company representatives to the County’s Jamestown Airport where alignment between Luscombe’s needs and the County’s available hangar resources were realized.
Among the many factors cited by Luscombe’s management team in selecting Chautauqua County for its aircraft production facility is the workforce development resources nurtured through Jamestown Community College and SUNY Fredonia and a local manufacturing base with recognized skilled engineers and tradesmen.
The establishment of an aircraft production facility at the Jamestown Airport follows closely on the heels of other business development at the County’s airports.
In February, Centric Aviation took over operation of all core flight-line services at both the Jamestown and Dunkirk airports under separate lease-operating agreements signed with the County.
Under those agreements, the county receives a fixed monthly rental fee as well as a percentage of gross revenues generated from fuel sales, aircraft de-icing and other services.