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Airmotive Enterprises expected to change hands

Airmotive Enterprises, a fixture at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport since 1958, may be in for new owners.

Founded by the late John Riedl Sr., the airport’s longtime manager, Airmotive was purchased in 1981 by John Riedl Jr. The fixed base operator offers flight instruction and aircraft maintenance. Its staff includes pilots, mechanics and flight instructors.

Partners Chris Kurtzman and Rob Adair were identified by Interim Airport Manager Rick Adair as the prospective owners at Thursday’s Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Commission.

Airport Commissioner Beth Pfingsten said that since the interim airport manager’s son was one of the prospective owners the elder Adair should not have any involvement in discussions about a potential lease agreement between the airport and the prospective Airmotive Enterprises owners.

John Riedl Sr., in a 1983 Brainerd Dispatch story, recalled how in the company’s early days he would make promotional night flights in an old monoplane with a neon sign mounted under its wings that said “Bar Harbor Tonight.” The firm also had a contract for pipeline patrol with the Minnesota Power and Light Co.

MIKE O’ROURKE, associate editor, may be reached at 855-5860 or He may be followed at

Mike O'Rourke
Mike O'Rourke began his career at the Brainerd Dispatch in 1978 as a general assignment reporter. He was named city editor in 1981 and associate editor in 1999. He covers politics and writes features and editorials.
(218) 855-5860