ESD Announces Plan To Generate Nearly $50 Million In Revenue By Developing Five Parcels Of Vacant Property At Republic Airport On Long Island

February 3, 2017

Talon Air Affiliate Will Build New Hangar Space and Generate Economic Growth for New York State

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky today announced a transformative plan to develop five parcels of vacant, state-owned land at Republic Airport. The development plan, including rent and fueling flowage fees, is expected to result in over $1 million in annual revenue to the airport for the next 49 years. A contract to develop the property was awarded to Stratosphere Development Co. LLC, an affiliate of Talon Air, Inc., an existing tenant at the airport that offers private jets for hire, which will invest at least $27 million in new facilities at Republic Airport. Stratosphere will build hangars for its own fleet of planes and provide new modern facilities for smaller pilots in the community.

“Talon’s proposal to develop these empty pieces of property will create hundreds of direct and indirect jobs on Long Island,” said ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “I commend the team at ESD for their great work, from preparing the RFP, to reviewing proposals, to finalizing the contract with Talon.”

“The development of underutilized parcels for general and business aviation-related uses will transform Republic Airport into a world-class facility that will contribute to Long Island’s economic competitiveness,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll. “These improvements will enhance economic activity both at and around the Airport while maintaining the existing footprint.”

The contract with Stratosphere is the result of a Request for Proposals (RFP) Empire State Development (ESD) issued in February 2016 on behalf of the New York State Department of Transportation. The RFP builds upon prior market studies and public feedback regarding the airport. The RFP called for the development of five parcels totaling approximately 41.5 acres. Respondents to the RFP were encouraged to submit proposals to develop all or any of the five parcels and to consider aviation and non-aviation related uses. Talon’s proposal will develop all five pieces of property for aviation. It will create 73 permanent jobs and 226 construction jobs.

"Talon Air is honored to be part of this historic plan for Republic Airport and Long Island," said Adam Katz, CEO of Stratosphere and Founder of Talon Air. "For over a decade, it has been our dream and vision to help transform Republic Airport into an entity that benefits both Long Island's and New York State’s economies. The RFP process has been comprehensive and exhaustive. We are proud that New York State has selected us to be part of the solution.”

Talon will lease the property for 49 years, paying the New York State Department of Transportation rent equaling approximately $1 million per year. The airport currently loses roughly $250,000 annually.

Occupying approximately 526 acres in East Farmingdale, New York, Republic Airport is one of 13 airports on Long Island. Republic Airport was originally developed by Sherman Fairchild and began operation in the spring of 1928. Initially it was used to test aircraft made by Fairchild, American, Grumman and Seversky. In 1965, Fairchild Hiller Corporation acquired Republic Airport and sold it to Farmingdale Corporation, and in 1966, it became a general aviation airport. In 1969, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority purchased the airport for $25 Million. Ownership of the airport was transferred to the New York State Department of Transportation in 1982. As a general aviation and reliever facility, Republic Airport generates $214 million in economic impact to Nassau and Suffolk Counties each year.

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