Local News

Johnston Hangar May Be Involved In War Against Terrorism

Posted March 8, 2005 5:58 a.m. EST

— A small, blue hangar tucked away at the Johnston County Airport may be caught up in the war on terror.

On Sunday, the CBS show "60 Minutes" aired an investigative report on secret CIA flights in which terror suspects around the world are kidnapped. They are apparently flown to other countries and tortured. The "60 Minutes" story tracked flights that originated in North Carolina. WRAL found out a Swedish news crew is also investigating.

They report the planes are maintained and based at Aero Contractors Ltd. in Smithfield. WRAL tracked that name to a hangar at the Johnston County Airport. The news report focused on two planes with tail numbers N379P and N313P.

Aero Contractors said they do not think their flights are involved in what "60 Minutes" is investigating. However, a representative with the company said the company was familiar with the two tail numbers and the company has leased those planes before.

WRAL checked the history of Aero Contractors through North Carolina records. The company, which opened in 1979, contracts planes and coordinates pilots.

WRAL called the president of the company and he said he cannot discuss the nature of the business. The manager for the airport said he has no idea what goes on inside the blue hangar, but he does not want to be connected with it.

The two planes in question may no longer be running any missions. The Swedish news crew told WRAL the planes were sold. The Federal Aviation Administration said the numbers are now reserved for other companies.