The county will open 104 hangars next month and is working to
accommodate corporate jet traffic
Morgan Hill – After 28 years at the South County Airport, Gene Mecadon is ready to fly off into retirement.
Mecadon, of 2 Genes Aviation, has reached a deal to sell his fixed-base operator lease to Magnum Aviation, a company currently operating out of the Reid-Hillview Airport in Palo Alto.
“I’m burned out,” Mecadon, 74, said. “I’m sick and tired of the bureaucracy.”
The airport’s fixed-base operator essentially manages the airport on behalf of Santa Clara County, which owns the facility.
When Mecadon assumed the lease in January 1978 with his late partner, Gene Scarborough, the San Martin facility had just one hangar. Today, Mecadon oversees 55 hangars, repairs and services planes, and teaches flying lessons.
The county is ready to open 104 hangars next month and is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to upgrade the airport to accommodate corporate jet traffic.
Gary Robinson, of Magnum, said the airport will continue to operate much as it has for the last three decades, though he plans to repair its taxiways and enlist the non-profit West Valley Flight Club to teach flying and rent planes.
“Basically, Gene has a good operation,” Robinson said.
The deal was in the works for several years, but was spurred forward recently by Mecadon’s desire to retire and the expansion plans, which Robinson said “sweetened the deal.”
Assuming county supervisors approve the arrangement next week, Magnum will take over the airport Nov. 18.
Mecadon, meanwhile, will tour the country with his wife in an RV.
“We’re going to plan some trips,” Mecadon said. “Wherever the sun is.”