Airport tenant seeks fuel test

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PARIS – While the fuel system itself has been updated, Oxford Aviation isn’t so sure about the fuel.

In a letter to the county dated Friday, Robert Betz, facility manager for Oxford Aviation, states that the aviation fuel has a shelf life of six months. Betz is seeking a test on the fuel quality at a cost of $3,330.

“Oxford Aviation will not assume any liability nor fuel any aircraft until this test is complete,” Betz wrote.

Oxford Aviation is an aircraft refurbishing business that rents building space at the Oxford County Regional Airport, which is owned by the county. While the county pays for the infrastructure at the airport, Oxford Aviation purchases the fuel for the site.

The company and commissioners are also at odds over another issue: Oxford Aviation’s refurbishing of 18-wheeler trucks on the site. Recently, the county issued a notice of default to the company.

According to the notice, the county commissioners were told during an inspection of the airport that Oxford Aviation had been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to work on the trucks. The notice states that Donna Witte at the FAA office in Burlington, Mass., told the county she was unaware of any such approval.

The notice of default threatens to terminate Oxford Aviation’s lease within 90 days if it does not cease work on the vehicles.

County Commissioner Caldwell Jackson said the company is working on three trucks. He said James Horowitz, president of Oxford Aviation, will appear at the next commissioners’ meeting on Aug. 21.

Under the terms of the lease issued by the county, the lessee “may engage in secondary uses subject to approval by lessor … provided however that the primary use of the demised premises shall in all cases be aviation related.”

The fuel system at the airport has been a mainstay on the agenda of the monthly county commissioners meeting. The pumps reportedly had been inoperative since February.

In a letter presented to commissioners at their June meeting, Horowitz said that the pump problem had cost his company $16,234.83 in lost revenue.

Recently, the fuel tanks of the system were moved to a new location. The pumps were reactivated last week, after some of their parts were upgraded.

A voice-mail message left for Horowitz was not returned.

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