Thursday, May 11, 2017

Helicopter company signs 30-year lease to operate at Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport (KMRB)

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A helicopter-oriented aviation operations and holding company has agreed to lease 2.3 acres of land at Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport.

A 30-year lease agreement between The Sylvanus Group LLC, a Nevada-based company, and the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport Authority was approved Tuesday night.

The Sylvanus Group agreed to pay $19,798.08 per year in rent for use of the developed land and parking area, and has the option to extend the agreement beyond 2047 by two, five-year terms, according to the lease terms.

The company is in the process of separately purchasing the former Arcadia Aviation facility, which sits on the acreage that is being leased, said R. Timothy Tapp, president and a managing member of The Sylvanus Group.

The veteran-owned business intends to hire a number of aviation mechanics from the area's talented labor pool due to the presence of the 167th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia Air National Guard at Shepherd Field.

The Air Guard unit recently transitioned from flying C-5 aircraft to C-17s, a change that affected a number of full-time guardsmen at the base.

Tapp didn't specify how many jobs the company hopes to fill, but said the business intends to start out slow and gradually increase operations at the Arcadia Aviation facility.

The facility includes a 20,000-square-foot hangar and 3,500 square feet of office space, according to a West Virginia Development Office property description.

"It's a beautiful building," Tapp said.

Built in 2006, the facility will be renamed Sylvanus Aviation Center.

Tapp said the company plans to offer helicopter-related training, demonstration flights and other services.

The facility will allow various subsidiaries to relocate to Martinsburg, said Tapp, who is moving from White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

Formed in August 2015 in Las Vegas, the company's managers are Tapp and Alexandria, Va.-based JB Consulting & FTC LLC, according to an online business database maintained by the Nevada Secretary of State's office.

Tapp said the company has been quite pleased to work with the airport authority, especially board Chairman Rick Wachtel.

"We're extremely happy to be in West Virginia," Tapp said. "We love West Virginia. It's a great place."

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