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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Hangar was key for Odom's jet business



Airportlayout_3 DESTIN — A $6 million airport project dogging House Speaker Ray Sansom was going to play a more significant role in a developer's jet business than was previously understood.

Panhandle developer Jay Odom intended to use the two-story hangar to satisfy government requirements that his new company, Destin Jet, offer aircraft maintenance services.

Instead, Northwest Florida State College will use the half-acre to build a first-responder training center that has a two-story, hangar-sized room where emergency officials can work in times of natural disasters. Sansom arranged state funding for the building, and Odom is leasing the school the land.

And although Destin Jet is about to open and Odom has known for more than a year that a college building will go up instead of his maintenance facility, he has yet to tell county officials how he'll meet their FAA-recommended mandate to offer repair service.

The revelation raises new questions about whether the taxpayer-funded college building at Destin Airport was going to be shared by Odom, a heavyweight GOP contributor and longtime Sansom friend. (story here)

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 3:16pm]


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