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Empire Aero and Oneida County sign new lease

By By PAT BAILEY

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - A new 20 year lease between Empire Aero Center, and Oneida County was approved by lawmakers Wednesday.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente says there is still no definite answer whether or not the AWACS training mission is over at Griffiss Airport, but one company, Empire Aero, will expand.

"That means more work, it means more jobs. It means a great commitment by a company that is growing daily." said Picente.

Empire Aero Center is currently in a hanger, in a building, adjacent to the Griffiss space they will soon be renting. Construction on the building the company will use is currently underway, and is scheduled to be done in the spring of of next year.

Oneida County law makers say this new lease is part of an overall plan to build up business, at the airport, for general aviation and maintenance of aircrafts.

"People ask all the time about commercial. Were concentrating on general aviation, were concentrating on the anchor that Empire Aero is to refurbish large aircraft cargo," Picente said. "In the future it may even involve some of the general aviation customers that we have now."

The money Empire Aero Center will pay the county, over the course of the 20 year lease, will cover the cost of the current renovations and building projects at the airport now.

Once the lease is up, Oneida County will still clear $1.6 million.

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