Exciting news for the Endless Mountains region in northeast PA with the land development in Factoryville, PA – a brand new fly-in community located at the Seamans Airport. (Video provided by NEPA Aerial Photography)
It had been almost 20 years since Billy Dobitsch Jr. landed at the Seamans Airport as a private pilot with the dream of someday owning this airport. In 1994, Dobitsch was living in Passaic County, NJ. crossing the Hudson River 5 days a week for a job with Morgan Stanley in Manhattan. The commute, and his duties, made his work days long and after attending a local airshow, Dobitsch took flying lessons and obtained his private pilot’s license. He partnered with two other men to buy a small airplane. Flying whenever he could, he wished he could make his living from aviation.
In 1999, while looking through the classified ads in an aviation newspaper, Dobitsch saw a listing for an airport that was for sale in Pennsylvania. “It didn’t even say what airport it was,” he recalled. “It just had a phone number.” On a bright Sunday morning in the summer of 1999, Dobitsch flew 35 minutes from an airport in New Jersey and landed at Seamans Airport. He liked what he found at the airport, with its 2,500-foot runway on 248 acres of land. The sellers, the children of the late airport founder Bob Seamans, wanted about $1 million for the real estate and improvements, although; Dobitsch was unable to obtain the financing.
He had told some of his Morgan Stanley colleagues about the airport, and the following year two of them joined Dobitsch’s effort to buy the airport. This time, the financing was arranged and the group took over Seamans Airport in January 2001. Two additional shareholders were later added to the group. “Part of our vision was to make a fly-in community thru extensive land development” Dobitsch said. “We had all this beautiful property and wanted to do something on the other side of the runway, where people could have their airplane at their house.”
In 2005, development started on Skyline Estates, Engineering studies were done and Governmental approvals were obtained. Ground was broken for the construction of the first house in the summer of 2007.
The economic recession of 2008 caused severe turbulence to Seamans Airport and the general aviation industry. “We had a number of very difficult years,” Dobitsch said. “We’ve passed that and it looks like the real estate market has finally turned around.”
Randy Palmer – owner of NEPA Aerial Photography – has been Seamans charter pilot and flight instructor from the very beginning; and has provided professional aerial photography services including video of the airpark.
Owner Billy Dobitsch Jr. can be reached at 570.945.5125