Pittsfield to renegotiate lease with Lyon Aviation

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PITTSFIELD — The city plans to renegotiate its lease with Lyon Aviation — using outside legal help — in part because the company plans to expand.

The City Council Aug. 8 unanimously approved Pittsfield Municipal Airport Manager Gloria Bouillon's request to hire the law firm of Anderson & Kreiger LLP to help with the review.

"This firm is known for this work," Bouillon told The Eagle.

Bouillon said Mayor Linda Tyer and City Solicitor Richard Dohoney agreed to hire outside counsel.

"The airport is interested in development options," said Anderson & Krieger attorney Kevin Batt. "So, let them be in compliance, look at existing leases and look at recommendations."

The airport, built in 1974, encompasses almost 600 acres on Pittsfield's southwest corner and has two runways, each 100 feet wide.

The lease needs to be renegotiated, Bouillon said, because it has been amended so many times the document has become unwieldy. She produced the lease — a plastic binder about six inches thick — to illustrate her point.

By renegotiating, Bouillon said, the city and Lyon Aviation can "ensure all rules and regulations are being followed."

The airport manager said she was confident the parties could come to an agreement. "It's a working relationship," said Bouillon.

Lyon Aviation President and CEO Andy Day told The Eagle the company is happy with the existing lease.

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"The negotiation isn't coming from us," said Day. "We're responding to their wish to have another look at it."

The company began in 1982 as the fixed-base-operator for the airport. It employs 70 people.

As the operator, the company provides fuel, hangars, charter services, flight lessons and maintenance for aircraft.

While it does plan to expand in Pittsfield, Day said no plans are firm. He said the company is being wooed by airports around New England.

"We regularly receive proposals from other airports throughout the year," Day said.

But Day said the company wants to remain in Pittsfield.

"We certainly welcome working with the firm," he said of the city's outside legal counsel. "We look forward to reviewing the lease."

Batt agreed, telling The Eagle he anticipated a good working relationship with the parties once the review begins.

"We're just beginning of this engagement," said Batt.

Reach staff reporter Eoin Higgins at 413-464-4872 or @EoinHiggins_.


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