SAN FERNANDO VALLEY — A judge Tuesday banned the city of Los Angeles from seeking new tenants for a massive World War II-era hangar at Van Nuys Airport, giving the current tenant a temporary victory in its lengthy fight to stay.
But city lawyers also claimed partial victory, saying that the order leaves the city free to evict Syncro Aircraft Interiors, the longtime tenant.
Syncro attorneys said they had no choice but to seek the order, granted by Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs after airport commissioners on Aug. 3 authorized the department to evict Syncro.
The action is part of a plan by the department to replace non-aviation tenants at Van Nuys with more aviation users. The department plans to do that by advertising for new lease proposals for three hangars and adjoining ramp areas.
Airport officials said there is a growing demand from aviation businesses for more space at all of the city's four airports. The department is also working to find ways to increase lease revenues and to provide improvements to airport buildings.
Although Syncro's main business is restoration and refurbishment of private jet aircraft, the airport department in the past has criticized the company for subleasing portions of its massive hangar for filming.
The department also has targeted Galpin Motors, which stores hundreds of new vehicles on some of the ramp areas.
Barbara Cesar, Syncro president, said many airport tenants are disconcerted by plans to seek new lease proposals, which she said is "shaking up the whole airport community." She said other tenants fear that they, too, may loose investments in their business.