Questions About Our GA Redevelopment

 

Cory Collins sent us this query via facebook:

“Can I possibly read this correctly? Is the plan to actually spend over $5.4 million on preparing the site (already hard surfaced) for SIX (6) hangars?"

Cory is referring to a news story in Monday’s Springfield News-Leader about the airport’s plan to redevelop land for the construction of eight general aviation (GA) hangars. We currently have a shortage of GA hangars and plan to spend about $5.6 million to make land development ready for new hangar construction.

Cory …. please take a look at the image below:

What you see is an aerial view of the old airport terminal complex located at the end of West Kearney Street.

•    The area where the work will generally take place is outlined in yellow. This area is about 12 acres.

•    #1 is the location of an old airport fire station. The redevelopment work includes tearing the fire station down.

•    #2 is part of the old long term parking lot for the old terminal building. This part of the lot, along with the road you see skirting the lot on the right, will be torn out.

•    #3 is a parking lot that is no longer used. It will be torn out. Since the parking lot is several feet higher than the taxiways and runway, several thousand yards of dirt/rock underneath the lot will also have to be removed.

•    #4 is a hangar that will remain.

•    #5 is part of the old short term parking lot for the old terminal building. It will be torn out.

•    The redevelopment work will include removing old underground utilities: gas, water and electric.

•    The work will include new access roads.

•    The work will include new concrete aprons for aircraft.

This list could go on and on, but you get the idea — there’s a lot more to preparing the site than meets the eye.

The work had to go out to bid and we accepted the low bid. Additionally, we did an independent cost analysis to be sure the cost was reasonable.

Please let us know if you have more questions.

March 11, 2014

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Cory has responded to our explanation:

"Thanks for your response - I do appreciate your time. First, I would like to clarify that I am in full support of adding hangars to KSGF. With that said, being one of those Fifty (50) people that have been waiting on a list for hangar space for years (literally) I guess I am just disappointed that $5.4 Million Dollars will only "pave the way" for Eight (8) (News-Leader said 6) "jet" hangars that apparently will be constructed at additional cost and owned (or leased?) by someone other than the airport. Erect A Tube? I am now clear that it is not in the plans, but when the news of potential new hangars was released I was hopeful it would help address the need and demand for businesses and plane owners with light aircraft as well. Thanks again for your direct and timely response."

Thanks Cory. Point taken about owners of light aircraft. Here's some more explanation ...

You're right — this new development will address the demand for corporate aircraft hangars. Here's why, along with some details about how the whole thing works ...

There are two kinds of GA hangars at the airport: those owned by the airport, and those owned by corporations. The airport owned hangars are those small t-hangars that are rented to individuals with light aircraft. The corporate owned hangars generally house corporate jets. And here's a key point — these hangars were built by corporations — not the airport.

The new development project will make ground ready for new corporate hangars. Corporations will lease lots from the airport and then build the hangars. At the end of the lease (generally 30-years) the hangar becomes the property of the airport. The reason it works this way is pure economics. It wouldn't be financially feasible for the airport to build these large hangars — they're simply too expensive — and it would take too long for the airport to get it's money back. The grant money from the state aviation trust fund makes it possible for the airport to afford the cost of making ground "hangar ready."

The need for more t-hangars is on our radar. Hopefully, we can make it happen in the next few years. We've even identified the ground where they'll probably go (at the north end of the GA complex, near the fuel farm).

The challenge is coming up with the money to build them. We're hoping to get grant money to do it — and here's why —

Let's suppose, for the sake of conversation, that the airport just decided to pay for new t-hangars on its own dime. The cost of construction would be so high that we'd have to charge a very steep monthly rental fee in order to pay for them — so high that every small aircraft owner on the field would become irate.

Thanks for reading this long-winded response ... hope it makes sense!

 

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