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November 19, 2013

Airport board to see L-3 lease

GREENVILLE — The City of Greenville Airport Advisory Board is scheduled to get its first look this week at the new lease agreement between the city and L-3 Communications Integrated Systems .

The board is set to convene at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the terminal building at Majors Field Municipal Airport. City Attorney Daniel Ray intends to brief the board about the agreement, which the city council approved last month, concerning property the defense contractor operates at the airport.

L-3 Communications would pay millions of dollars per year to lease property at Majors Field, under the 30 year lease agreement with the city. The funds from the lease would be directed back to keeping the airport as a self-sustaining facility.

In turn, the defense contractor would take over almost all of the operations at the airport, including the city’s terminal building. L-3 may be planning a significant expansion at Majors Field, and would be allowed to establish an alternative permitting process for new structures at the facility, which could bring in more revenue directed toward the city’s general fund.

L-3 has been paying $72,500 per year for its lease of 610 acres at the airport, under an agreement reached in 1977, which expires in 2017.

Under the agreement, L-3 would be paying a total of a little more than $3 million per year to lease almost 708 acres at the airport, with the initial lease running to Sept. 30, 2016.

The primary lease would take effect the next day and run for 15 years, followed by three five-year options.

The amount of the lease would gradually increase from $3 million to just over $5 million per year during the length of the agreement.

The company would take over most of the fixed base operations at the airport and in return would receive a credit on their rental agreement.

The city would still see a net of almost $26 million dollars over the length of the lease.

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