Monmouth Executive Airport, which once featured a fly-in drive-in and still hosts banner plane operations and skydiving, is planning millions of dollars of upgrades to draw more expensive corporate jets into its hangars following its recent sale.
A deal that has been in the works for more than a dozen years has transferred ownership of the Route 34 airport in Wall to a group of investors known as Wall Aviation LLC.
Richard A. Asper, chairman of Aviation Professionals Group, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which led the negotiations, said the stock purchase agreement between Wall Aviation and Wall Herald Corporation, owned by the family of the late Ed Brown, took place several months ago.
Asper said he could not disclose the price, citing confidentiality agreements that were part of the sale.
The new owners will be negotiating in the coming days with skydiving and banner-airplane tenants to move them, Asper said.
Skydive Jersey Shore is one of the current tenants. No one at the business could be reached Thursday night.
“Those folks will have to depart sometime soon,” he said. “We’ll negotiate so they can have the kind of transition they need, to move to a business more conducive to what they do.”
The complexion of the airport will undergo a change, Asper said.
Improvements include a more sophisticated FBO or Fixed Base Operator — sort of a service station for aircraft, he said. Safety will be bolstered, for instance, by not allowing cars and trucks on the runway, he said.
Wall Aviation hopes to draw owners of “$50 million aircraft as opposed to $50,000,” he said.
The 673-acre site with a 7,300-foot runway, once called Allaire Airport, is one of the largest privately-owned, jet-capable airports in the country, Asper said.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, owed money from an environmental cleanup on the site, gave its formal approval to the sale this week, Asper said.
The deal calls for Wall Aviation to pay the EPA $21.5 million for the clean-up, which was completed but is still being monitored, he said. The settlement with the EPA frees the new company of any future clean-up costs.