Derailed briefly by the partial government shutdown, a deal to sell Boeing Co. a large swatch of publicly owned land in North Charleston is back on track.
Care to comment?
Comments can be mailed or delivered in triplicate to the FAA’s at 1701 Columbia Ave., Ste. 2-260, College Park, Ga., 30337-2747. Attention: Rob Rau, S.C. planner.
Also, 1 copy must be mailed or delivered to Paul Campbell, airports director, Charleston International Airport, 5500 International Blvd., North Charleston, S.C., 29418-6911.
To see the Federal Register notice online, go to:
The Federal Register published its first formal notice of the $13.8 million sale this week, one of the final requirements before the aerospace giant can close the 267-acre deal. Boeing’s name does not appear in the document.
At least the U.S. president still prefers to fly around in a jumbo jet.
Air Force One is the world’s most visible plane. The two modified 747-200s that do the job now will be 30 years old in 2017. The Air Force is seeking a four-engine replacement, making the Pentagon one of the last airplane shoppers eager to buy fuel for four engines instead of two. Boeing and Airbus are the only Western jetmakers with such a plane.
Boeing has said it wants the job and has responded to a request for information. Airbus has not. The European company was widely assumed to be at a disadvantage against an American planemaker.
It’s also possible that another company would buy planes and modify them to be used as Air Force One. An Air Force spokesman confirmed Monday that it has received multiple responses.
“The Charleston County Aviation Authority plans to sell the ... property for the purpose of aircraft manufacturing and related support functions,” according to the self-described “Daily Journal of the United States Government.”
The notice went on to say the proposed use of the land “is compatible with airport operations.”
The public has until Nov. 25 to submit comments about the sale.
The airport authority needs the Federal Aviation Administration’s blessing to sell the property. As part of that the approval, an official public notice must run in the Federal Register for 30 days.
That process was held up by the recent 16-day shutdown that furloughed of many government employees.
Paul Campbell, Charleston County’s airports director, said this week he expects the deal to be finalized within the next 30 to 35 days, barring any unforeseen obstacles.
Boeing has been trying to acquire property around its North Charleston 787 campus for about two years.
The aviation authority voted in March to sell the planemaker 320 acres for $12.5 million, splitting the difference between appraisals from both sides.
The size of the purchase was cut to 267 acres last month while the price went up about $1.3 million. Boeing will pay about $52,000 an acre.
The company has not said specifically what it plans to do with the undeveloped site.
Boeing announced in April that it will invest another $1.1 billion and add at least 2,000 more jobs during the next seven years in exchange for $120 million in state financial assistance.
Boeing already employs more than 6,000 workers in North Charleston who make parts for and assemble the Dreamliner.
This week, it announced plans to boost production of the 787 in South Carolina and Seattle as much as 40 percent by 2020 to help fill more than 800 orders and to meet growing demand for new versions of the airplane.
Reach John McDermott at 937-5572.
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