FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A former MarkAir facility at Fairbanks International Airport is once again in the hands of an airline. The structure, vacant since MarkAir's 1995 demise, was finally sold by the state agency that's owned it for a decade.
The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority this week announced the sale of the facility to a company owned by Fairbanks businessman Robert Everts, owner of Air Cargo Express and the Tatonduk Flying Service.
The hangar complex will be used for maintenance, administration and storage associated with Air Cargo Express and Tatonduk, as well as Everts Air Fuel Inc., a company owned by Everts' father.
Everts said most airline operations have been moved into the hangar from leased sites elsewhere at the airport. He anticipates that 110 people will work at the hangar when it is fully staffed.
AIDEA had owned the building since it agreed to help out MarkAir in a 1991 attempt to expand the airline. When MarkAir needed cash to buy additional jets, the agency agreed to purchase the Fairbanks facility as well as ones in Bethel and Unalaska and lease them back to MarkAir. AIDEA was left with the hangars when MarkAir declared bankruptcy and ceased operations in 1995.
Everts said he has had an eye on the hangar ever since MarkAir folded.
''We were finally able to nail down something that made sense for both of us,'' he said. He declined to disclose the terms of the deal but said that the 24,500-square-foot facility is valued at $2.8 million.
Air Cargo Express offers cargo service to 13 communities in rural Alaska, while Tatonduk runs passenger services to similar sites. Combined, Everts said the airlines have a fleet of 18 aircraft.
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