City offers tax break to attract Frontier Airlines

City offers tax break to attract Frontier Airlines

Colorado Springs officials are using tax breaks to draw a Frontier Airlines maintenance facility to the local airport, where SkyWest Airlines recently opened a $20 million maintenance hangar for its planes.

Denver-based Frontier is expected to select from Colorado Springs and six other Front Range airports “in the next few weeks” for a maintenance hangar that could cost up to $40 million and employ 350 within two years, said Frontier spokesman Joe Hodas.

Frontier’s facility would replace one it leases month-to-month from Continental Airlines; a long-term lease expired in February.

The airport is putting together an incentive package that includes tax breaks that could be offered to any airline that wants to build a local maintenance facility, Earle said. All previous bids, including those for Frontier and SkyWest, have been developed specifically for individual projects, he said.

The Colorado Springs City Council tentatively agreed in 2004 to eliminate sales tax on aircraft-parts purchases totaling more than $2 million a year for SkyWest’s maintenance facility, said Elena Nuñez, the city’s economic development manager…

WAYNE HEILMAN, THE GAZETTE

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