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Two married aviation buffs who reside at a New Jersey air park paid about $1 million.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
A New Jersey couple plan to upgrade Smith Mountain Lake Airport in Bedford County after buying the facility Friday from its longtime owner, according to a real estate broker who handled the sale.
Former owner Joseph Borgess said he wants to take a break after more than five decades in aviation.
He spent 35 years as the owner and operator of the lake airport after 25 years flying for Pan American World Airways.
“That’s enough,” he said. “Flew all over the world.”
Two married aviation buffs who reside at a New Jersey air park paid about $1 million for the nearly 50-acre airport property, said Mark Dalton of Dalton & Co. Realtors in Lynchburg.
Dalton declined to identify the couple and said they will own the airport through a limited liability company.
Borgess confirmed the purchase price and said he accepted an offer from the couple to manage the airport until they move to the area in three years.
Dalton, who hunted for a buyer for the airport for about a year, called Borgess a good steward of the airport he bought in 1978. “He took it from a huge field to a really pretty general aviation airport,” according to Dalton, who said Borgess paved more than 3,000 feet of runway and added lights, hangars and other facilities on what used to be only a grass airstrip. About 15 aircraft are based there.
Borgess sold lots on which various people built homes beside the runway. He lives at the airport himself.
Borgess said he wanted to do more, but economic conditions restricted further development.
The new owner expects to add needed hangar space and might extend the runway using an undeveloped portion of the airport property four miles southeast of Moneta, Dalton said.
It sits near Smith Mountain Lake State Park and bears the federal designation W91.
While the airport does not provide scheduled passenger service, people who vacation at the lake fly in and out, especially in the summer, the busiest season, Borgess said.
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