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Authority hopes campaign to boost business at Braden Airpark pays off

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(Contributed)
To improve Braden Airpark’s ability to attract new businesses, the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority demolished some buildings.
(Contributed) To improve Braden Airpark’s ability to attract new businesses, the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority demolished some buildings.

The Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority is launching a marketing campaign to boost interest in the business opportunities at it smallest airport, Braden Airpark.

The airport authority, whose main operation at Lehigh Valley International Airport in Hanover Township, Lehigh County, recently has seen strong growth in passenger traffic and revenues, is focusing attention on Braden Airpark in Forks Township.

“We’ve been reaching out into the region to find out what type of specialty aviation businesses are interested,” said Thomas Stoudt, interim executive director of LNAA. “That’s really the crux of what we’ve been doing with this marketing campaign.”

As part of the campaign, the authority distributed a mailer to businesses within 100 miles of the airport.

Now that Braden Airpark has newly renovated hangar and office space, additional land available for future development, plus state and county funds for capital improvements and new terminal development, airport officials see the site as ideal for aviation businesses.

Potential businesses include flight schools, aircraft maintenance providers and those that build electronic equipment for aircraft.

“There’s certainly a demand for these services,” Stoudt said. “We heard that from our tenant base. We think there’s a very good possibility we could see these services added back to Braden.”

The majority of the improvements to Braden Airpark included eliminating older facilities and upgrading the bulk storage hangars. The airport authority also secured a $320,000 grant from the state Department of Transportation to design and build a new terminal, which could attract more business, he added.

Braden Airpark also received a $250,000 grant from the Northampton County Department of Economic Development to invest in capital improvements.

“We’ve also been talking about development of property not needed for airport services,” Stoudt said. “I think what we are talking about is commercial use. I think there’s a lot of preliminary discussions about how it fits into the long-term plans of the airpark.”

Having additional commercial development is an important component to that revenue stream that will support the airpark, Stoudt said.

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Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh and read his blog, “Can You Dig It,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/can-you-dig-it.

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