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Redmond Airport, Leading Edge declare long-term partnership


The Redmond Municipal Airport and Leading Edge Jet Center, LLC announced Friday “the forging of a long-term business relationship” in which Leading Edge will continue to provide fixed-base operations at RDM for up to 30 years, in exchange for a minimum $6 million investment.

“I am thrilled we have reached a long-term agreement with Leading Edge Jet Center,” Mayor George Endicott said in a news release announcing the deal.

“Over the past decade, we have made significant investments in our airport, such as the construction of a new terminal, passenger amenities, runway reconstruction and a fuel farm. Now we are on the cusp of adding a premier general aviation facility to the list,” Endicott added.

“This would not be possible without partnering with a company like Leading Edge,” the mayor said, adding that “their reputation for excellence will lead to continued growth and revenue at the airport.”

Leading Edge has been operating general aviation services on a short-term agreement with RDM since summer 2015.

The new 30-year operating agreement increases LEJC’s north-side footprint by 52 percent, to 287,650 square feet, and commits them to a $5 million investment within three years, including the construction of a 24,000-square-foot executive airplane hangar, a new 6,000-square-foot fixed based operator office building and a $100,000 investment in the existing World War II hangar leased by Leading Edge.

An additional $1 million investment of “qualified capital Improvements” after the fifth year gives them the right to five additional years in their operating agreement, through June 30, 2050.

The annual lease payments under this new agreement begin at $129,000 – an increase from their current $49,000 annual payment, the airport said.

“In 2015, we chose to establish a presence at the Redmond Airport because we knew there was enormous potential for growth by supporting, GA, corporate aviation and the airlines, as we do with all of our business segments,” said Brad Fraley, president and CEO of Leading Edge Aviation.

“RDM is the front door to economic development for this region, and we wanted to be part of it,” Fraley added. “The city’s support and commitment to healthy growth confirms that this agreement is truly a step toward a great future for Redmond.”

Last year, Leading Edge Jet Center pumped more than 4.5 million gallons of jet and aviation fuel. The airport collects 7 cents on every gallon pumped, generating $315,000 annually for future infrastructure funding. LEJC also was instrumental in bringing the Hillsboro Aero aviation academy to Redmond, the announcement noted.

“Airports must seek continuous investment to maintain market share and remain competitive,” Redmond Airport Director Zachary Bass said. “It’s very significant to have a strong fixed base operator. This service provider is a keystone for any airport.”

RDM has experienced a 75 percent increase in commercial passenger traffic since 2013. Airlines have added three additional direct destinations and increased seating capacity to all other destinations offered.

In the past two years, aircraft landings and takeoffs have risen by 47 percent, from 45,000 to 95,000. “The increase in corporate aviation and private jet traffic at RDM since LEJC came aboard in 2015 is noticeable,” the release stated, adding, “These investments will accelerate that trend.


Redmond Municipal Airport – Redmond Municipal Airport (RDM) is located in the heart of Central Oregon, featuring a 132,000 square foot state-of-the-art terminal. It is currently served by four air carriers; Alaska Air, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United/United Express with nearly 30 daily commercial flights daily direct flights to Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Seattle. RDM will offer direct service to Chicago, beginning June 2019. Delta, United and United Express flights are handled by Delta Global Services. Alaska Air is handled by Horizon Air. American Airlines is handled by Envoy Air.

The Airport is home to the USDA Forest Service Redmond Air Center, Life Flight, Leading Edge Jet Center, Les Schwab, Bonneville Power, Henderson Aviation, Bonneville Power, and Hillsboro Aero Academy.

Leading Edge Jet Center, LLC – For more than two decades, Leading Edge has served Central Oregon’s aviation community and the western United States. Recently named one of the 5,000 fastest growing companies in the United States by Inc. Magazine, Leading Edge Aviation encompasses seven major business segments including helicopter flight training, fixed wing flight training, avionics, maintenance, helicopter charter, Robinson Helicopter overhaul, and FBO/fuel services, featuring two FBO locations in both Bend and Redmond, Oregon.

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