Possibility of aviation firm setting up shop at former Loring base now looks unlikely

6 years ago

LIMESTONE, Maine — Almost exactly a year since it was first announced, the prospect of an aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul company setting up operations at the former Loring Air Force base now seems highly unlikely, according to Loring Development Authority officials. 

Representatives of the company, whose name has not yet been made public, last year delivered truckloads of aviation equipment to the Arch Hangar on the base. In announcing an agreement with the company last June, LDA President and CEO Carl Flora said the firm’s name would not be revealed until it officially started operations in the wintertime.

Since then, however, the company has not made any further progress on the project, despite regularly communicating with Loring officials, according to Flora.

The company currently owes the LDA a little over $100,000 in rent for the building, he told members of the LDA board of trustees during their June 20 meeting.

The new business had been included in the LDA’s fiscal year 2019 budget, but now that the operation does appear likely to materialize, “revenue projected for leases, pilot payments, fuel flowage, and other things [won’t] materialize either,” Flora said.

He said that while the company has not paid its assessed rent, the equipment it stored in the hangar at the former air force base is still there and could potentially be used as leverage in obtaining payment.

“Although we continue to be in touch with that company,” Flora told the board, “I’m sorry to say that I’m very disappointed and very much skeptical that the project will move forward. Certainly, if there is an indication that they have the capacity or desire to move forward, then it changes the equation, but at this point I don’t see it.”

The LDA president said that while the project is not technically cancelled, it is extremely unlikely that anything will materialize.

“I want to try to make sure people do not have ongoing expectations about the project that are not justified,” he said.