Avionics firm to set up shop at Carson’s airport

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Carson City’s Airport Authority took actions Wednesday that will bring an avionics-repair and -installation business to the city’s airport and expand a sport-aviation firm that already is there.

Voting unanimously, authority members approved Class II fix base operator status for Chaparal Avionics to provide service at the airport after moving here from Minden. Mike Wendling of Chaparal said he had been in Minden 17 years, but needed to move his firm to Carson City. He said up to 30 percent of his clients are here and he’ll bring people in from Minden, as well as a larger region.

“My radius of operation currently is 500 miles,” he said, noting he has about 750 clients he serves at various times.

Karl Hutter, authority vice chairman, called it exciting that the Chaparal move and the expansion of Sport Aviation Center’s fixed-base operator capabilities to market and sell weight-shift control aircraft were both on the evening’s agenda. The authority unanimously approved the aviation center’s request as well.

Paul Hamilton of the aviation center said his current operations include about three flights daily.

“I hope to have an increase in flights,” he said, but his purpose Wednesday was to pave the way for sales.

In other action, the authority voted to apply for more than $1 million in Federal Aviation Authority grant money to do the final phase of apron reconstruction at the airport and accepted a low bid for $986,986 from Granite Construction Co. to do the work. The vote was 4-1, with member Maurice White dissenting due to various concerns.

Authority members extensively discussed possible adoption of a resolution to seek bids for leasing a parcel at the front of the airport along College Parkway after examination of an appraisal calling for 36 cents per square foot per year, but they decided to take no action. They will seek more information from proponents of a proposed Cactus Aviation Museum that might want to locate on part of the land.

Other development ideas also were talked about, but no representatives of the museum backers were on hand and the decision was to seek input from them at the May meeting.

The authority reviewed a tentative fiscal year 2014-15 budget calling for about $423,000 in authority expenditures based on $480,000 in revenues from property taxes and leases, as well as about $1.1 million in Federal Aviation Authority grant money.


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