A golf cart exits the giant hangar May 12 at Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport, where Elite Airways abandoned material and equipment when it left last summer. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file

AUBURN — The Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport is auctioning off property abandoned by Elite Airways when it stopped paying all its obligations and then halted all its flights in the summer of 2022.

However, three jets and several engines and related parts that were also left behind were not owned by Elite, and are not part of the current auction, which is being conducted online and is live. Airport Board Chair Jonathan LaBonte said the auction company handling the current online auction does not have the expertise in those type of aviation assets and that the airport is looking at alternatives to “maximize our return.”

The jets are all in various states of disrepair and at least one will “never fly again,” according to a local pilot and mechanic.

The fledgling airline leased 27,000-square-feet of hanger space from the airport in 2019 to use as its northern maintenance base to support what was its growing fleet of aircraft, at the time.

Elite simply left tools, materials, equipment, furniture, trailers and more in the hangar when it left Auburn.

Most of the items currently being auctioned are associated with aircraft maintenance, but if you have a need for compressors, sacks of concrete, specialty tools, cables, ladders, or any of the more than 400 items for sale, this is your chance to pick them up cheap. Minimum bids start at $5, and some specialty items have already caught the eye of interested parties.


A metal forming machine had 90 bids and the price was $7,750 as of Aug. 1. Two other specialty machines have attracted multiple bids and were listed for $7,500 and $4,050. A handful of other items have attracted bids, adding about $2,500.

The airport hopes to bring in at least $75,000 net from this auction but will not disclose the estimated value of the jets and engines at this time, because it is part of ongoing negotiations LaBonte told the Sun Journal.

Not all the items up for auction are aviation related. There are folding chairs and tables, janitorial equipment and supplies, ladders, packing material, filing cabinets and much more.

The online auction is contracted out to Keenan Auction Company, Inc. out of Portland, and is hosted on auction site BidSpotter.com. The auction runs until Aug. 14 at 1 p.m. EDT. Buyers must pay a 17% premium, state sales tax and any fees associated with items requiring a title, like the trailers.

Successful bidders must pick up their items Aug. 15 and 16 within specified times.

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