County agencies are considering a contract with one local pilot to add an additional hangar at the Fayette County Airport.
Airport manager Jerry Van Dyke said the construction of a new nested T-Hangar at the Fayette County Airport on Route 38 could begin as early as this spring if the contract is created and the weather cooperates.
The T-Hangar would be built on the northwest side of the airport parallel to the existing hangar, said Van Dyke, and would have the capacity to hold 10 to 12 aircraft.
Although the airport is public and county-owned, a local pilot has come forward to discuss the possibility of paying for the construction of the hangar. This is similar to what has happened in the past with constructing hangars at the airport, said Fayette County assistant prosecutor Dan Drake. Drake has been informed of the matter and will be drafting any possible contract that comes out of the discussions between the local pilot, the airport and county commissioners.
“They’re just now beginning the discussion about that to see if it’s feasible and there are no details available at this point,” said Drake.
Drake said the contract for construction of the new hangar would likely be similar to other contracts the county airport has made in the past with the construction of other hangars.
“The county may solicit a proposal from private individuals who may enter into a long-term lease,” said Drake.
Van Dyke said the individual would pay for the construction of the hangar and pay for a 30-year lease on the land. During that time the individual could rent out the 10-12 individual aircraft bays in the hangar to pilots. After the 30-year lease ends, the building would become county property.
It’s a common practice at small airports, said Drake, to enter into such contracts. Drake has experience with airport contracts after working for a number of years for the City of Columbus, which owned the Port Columbus International Airport (now known as the John Glenn International Airport).
“That’s similar to existing hangar agreements out there now. Long-term leases of land save the county from having to invest taxpayer monies in advance to fund the construction of the facility,” said Drake.
While the possibility of the contract is still up in the air, Drake said the airport has determined from talking with pilots that there is a need for additional hangar space at the airport.
Van Dyke said the name of the local pilot isn’t being released yet.
Fayette County Commissioner Jack DeWeese said Monday that pilots like coming to the Fayette County Airport because the fuel prices are some of the lowest around.
“We have more aircraft come here because our fuel is less expensive and we still make money,” said DeWeese.
The airport’s fuel income for 2016 was $166,353.64 through the sale of 56,121 gallons of both LL aviation and jet-A fuel. Currently a gallon of LL aviation fuel is $4.10 and jet-A fuel for jet is $2.90 per gallon.
DeWeese said the revenue from the fuel sales is used to match federal grant money for funding other airport needs.
Upgrades were made to the fuel system about five years ago using federal grant money, said DeWeese. The upgrades improved safety and made fuel more accessible by relocating the fuel tanks. Credit card readers were installed so pilots can re-fuel 24/7.
Constructing a new T-Hangar at the airport this year will allow the airport to have more aircraft stored on site, a factor that the federal government considers when awarding grants, said DeWeese.
Drake said the price to construct the new hangar could range in the area of $300,000.
The Fayette County Airport is classified as a general aviation airport by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter@ashbunton
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