PARIS, Maine — Oxford County is attempting to evict Oxford Aviation from Oxford County Regional Airport, accusing the company of violating multiple terms of its lease.
In a complaint filed in District Court on Oct. 29, the county claims Oxford Aviation breached its lease obligations and demands judgment for possession of the property, which is off Number Six Road in Oxford.
According to the county, Oxford Aviation violated 11 terms of the lease it signed with county commissioners less than a year ago, following a three-year negotiation. The lease expires in 2027.
The company, which refurbishes and repaints aircraft, rents the 40,000-square-foot property, including hangars, shop, pilot lounge, classroom and offices. It was founded April 1, 1989, by owner and President James L. Horowitz and has a staff of 60, according to its website. It has always operated at the airport.
According to the lease, Oxford Aviation does not pay rent to the county but is responsible for the cost for maintaining the facilities it leases at the airport and for submitting quarterly maintenance records to the county commissioners.
In an answer to the complaint filed in the court Wednesday, Oxford Aviation denied it breached the terms of the agreement.
A hearing is scheduled in District Court on Wednesday, Nov. 13.
An attempt to reach Horowitz on Thursday was unsuccessful.
On Sept. 23, sheriff’s deputies served Oxford Aviation with a letter from County Administrator Scott Cole listing seven separate lease violations by the company and giving notice that the county intended to begin eviction proceedings.
The letter claims Oxford Aviation did not inform the county when its repair license was suspended by the Federal Aviation Administration in June, failed to conduct airport maintenance in accordance with FAA standards, did not provide quarterly maintenance reports from April to July 2013, and failed to give the county proof of insurance, among other violations of the lease.
According to the complaint, Oxford Aviation failed to respond to the initial notice, which was followed with another notice on Oct. 11, listing more alleged lease violations.
The October letter alleges the company failed to submit fees, maintain prices for parts, fuel and other services, failed and refused to advertise the availability of flight training and instruction and did not appropriately promote the county’s airport facilities.
Reached on Thursday, Cole said the lease gives the company 90 days to correct any violations, but in this case it may be considered an “incurable” default.
“You can’t unring the bell,” Cole said.
This is the third lawsuit filed against Oxford Aviation in recent months. An Ohio couple is seeking more than $674,000 in damages in a case filed in August in which the company failed to properly reattach part of the tail of their plane, causing them to crash-land in Colorado in May.
In September, Community Concepts Finance Corp. sued the company for allegedly defaulting on a $62,500 loan made in 1996. CCFC is asking to take possession of collateral the company put up for the loan. A discovery deadline in that case is set for January.