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Hard Times Close Michigan FBO

City Of Allegan May Decide To Seek New Partner

The longest runway at Padgham Field Airport (35D) in Allegan, Michigan is 4,300' long, which means it has to earn its keep as a general aviation facility. That's been hard for many GA airports to do through the long economic recession. The City of Allegan is reportedly considering pulling the plug on its long-time FBO partner, Dodgen Aircraft, which has ceased operations.

Mlive.com reports Dodgen has been through ownership changes since it began operating the field's FBO in 1994. But City Manager-Clerk Robert Hillard says Dodgen "recently laid off the mechanics...at this point they're not providing fuel and they're not operating the flight school to our knowledge." He adds that the flight school's training aircraft was recently sold at auction.

On Dodgen's website, operator Jason Blair has posted an announcement which reads, in part:

"The last two years have been extremely hard in this business. Effective immediately Dodgen Aircraft is closed. Our bank, Fifth Third, has called our loans which cover the assets of the company and we have worked very hard on many options that could have allowed for a solution; none have worked so far...Fifth Third bank has taken over the assets and forced us to close the operation.

"I personally have appreciated many of the personal relationships that have developed in my time as I worked to keep Dodgen Aircraft operational at the Allegan Airport. I appreciate the patronage of those of you who have chosen to do business with us. If there is any way that that we find to change this, we will let you know.

"We are working diligently to restructure and provide you with new options at the Allegan Airport. Will keep post as to our progress."

FMI: www.dodgenaircraft.com

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