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Lafalum

Braden Airport for sale

Today is the last day to submit bids for Braden Airport ( adjacent to Metzger).
Are we missing an opportunity by letting this go to a developer?? I know the college has no interest in operating an airport but couldn't we buy the 72 acres for future development and allow the current owners to pay off their debt to state? The cost is 1.8 million to operate as an airport while 3.8 would give the owners the opportunity to get out of debt. In any case, someone will buy it. Why shouldn't the college, and control what gets built there?? It looks to me to be a better deal than the hubcap store in a floodplain.
Bogus Megapardus

Perhaps we add a new major in Avionic Engineering?   Cool
NewXbo

They have received one bid, as of today. I'm sure its from a group of pilots. The land is only zoned as a "airport" and Forks township does not appear to want a commercial project, even though there is a supermarket across from it and a bank on the other corner. It doesn't seem to be a good site for residential and Forks has had some bad experiences with townhouse developments.

LVIA has some serious money problems, caused by the loss of a major law suit. And, is also having problems in dealing with the Queen City Airport in Allentown. A-town mayor Ed Plumpowski wants to take it over and develop it as a commercial area. The loss of both airports would create problems for LVIA with the relocation of all the private aircraft. There is also the issue of the federal government having a say in what happens.

Maybe they can build a large warehouse and base a fleet of drones there.
Bogus Megapardus

Is it possible for Lafayette to buy the property and operate/lease it break-even (it would have to be non-profit) for the time being?  Metzgar really doesn't need any more acreage, I suppose, but it would be a shame to forgo a large contiguous parcel like that.

And maybe the notion of using it for Avionic Engineering is only half-kidding.  Who says the big breakthrough in safe, economical personal aircraft won't come from Lafayette engineers?  Possibly operate it jointly with (*gulp*) Lehigh?

The "Lafayette College - Oechsle Experimental Aerospace Facility at Forks Township" has rather a nice ring to it, don't you think?
Bogus Megapardus

My post above is inaccurate.  The Braden Airport property is not contiguous with Metzgar.  There's a flag-shaped parcel to the north of Metzgar, between Metzgar and Braden, which appears to be a Forks Township municipal park.

Here's the Forks Township Zoning Map:

http://www.forkstownship.org/compplan/ezone.pdf

The three parcels (Metzgar, the Forks Township municipal park parcel, and Braden) all are zoned "REM" - Recreational, Educational/Municipal.  But it makes much less sense for Lafayette to buy the Braden parcel if it is not contiguous with Metzgar.  That's especially true if Forks Township owns the property in the middle; the Township would not likely convey the parcel to the college under any circumstances, even it the college agreed to operate it as a municipal park.
Bogus Megapardus

Here's the Northampton County Interactive Tax Map:

https://gis.northamptoncounty.org/public/

The 23.5 acre parcel (ID J9 12-4 0311E) between Metzgar and Braden does indeed belong to Forks Township.  The Township purchased the parcel in January 2000 for $195,000.

The 1999 sale price of the Braden parcel to Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority was $2.4 Million.
Lafalum

The parcel was bought by Forks to stop eminent domain by the authority who wanted to extend the runways for jet traffic. Rothkpof who was a former undersecretary of transportation was involved and preserved Metzgar. To give the guy some credit it was probably one of the best services he gave to the college. But Forks wanted to stop the airport expansion as well and it worked.
NewXbo

Well, maybe they should have purchased it.

http://voices.lafayette.edu/2014/...t-simulator-clubs-latest-project/
Bogus Megapardus

NewXbo wrote:
Well, maybe they should have purchased it.

http://voices.lafayette.edu/2014/...t-simulator-clubs-latest-project/


Broken link, I'm afraid.  Is this it?

http://voices.lafayette.edu/2014/...or-aviation-clubs-latest-project/

It would indeed be awesome for Lafayette to have its own airport.  There are a lot of engineering and science facilities that could be placed there, i.e., avionics, meteorology, use as a proving ground for experimental vehicles, laboratories requiring large spaces such as wind tunnels or manufacturing/assembly space for prototype vehicles, a public/private engineering "incubator" facility, etc.  

And yes, you could even put a full-motion, Full Flight Simulator/Cockpit Procedures Trainer out there.
NewXbo

Bogus Megapardus wrote:
NewXbo wrote:
Well, maybe they should have purchased it.

http://voices.lafayette.edu/2014/...t-simulator-clubs-latest-project/


Broken link, I'm afraid.  Is this it?

http://voices.lafayette.edu/2014/...or-aviation-clubs-latest-project/

It would indeed be awesome for Lafayette to have its own airport.  There are a lot of engineering and science facilities that could be placed there, i.e., avionics, meteorology, use as a proving ground for experimental vehicles, laboratories requiring large spaces such as wind tunnels or manufacturing/assembly space for prototype vehicles, a public/private engineering "incubator" facility, etc.  

And yes, you could even put a full-motion, Full Flight Simulator/Cockpit Procedures Trainer out there.



They could also use the runway to test the vehicle they enter in the Formula SAE competition in Michigan. This year's team won 3 awards:
1. Ford fuel economy award in fuel efficiency
2. FEV power train development
3. Altair Engineering Award for development of new innovative design concepts.
Bogus Megapardus

NewXbo wrote:
They could also use the runway to test the vehicle they enter in the Formula SAE competition in Michigan. This year's team won 3 awards:
1. Ford fuel economy award in fuel efficiency
2. FEV power train development
3. Altair Engineering Award for development of new innovative design concepts.


Exactly - it's perfect for that use.  Plus the college can use hangar facilities at Braden to store, construct and modify the vehicles.  It would be a huge appeal to engineering candidates.
ed65

Now all this would really require some "out of the box" (or should I say "out of the hanger") thinking on the part of the admin and trustees.  It would say a lot for the college's commitment to engineering, that is for sure.

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