By Rachel Pritchett
BREMERTON — The head of a national medical laboratories company who owns a home on Miller Bay is anticipated to build a corporate jet hangar at Bremerton National Airport next year. Port of Bremerton commissioners on Tuesday signed off on a long-term lease of a plot of land off the north end of the runway where the hangar is to be built.
James Slattery, founder and chief executive officer of Millennium Laboratories, Inc., of San Diego, Calif., and wife Jane purchased a $1.8 million home waterfront home on three lots on Miller Bay in North Kitsap in 2010, according to the Kitsap County Assessor’s Office.
Since then, Slattery’s representatives have had on-and-off talks with the port about leasing land for a hangar that a company associated with him would build.
Slattery could not be reached for comment Wednesday to say how he would use the hangar.
The high-powered medical executive has another tie to North Kitsap. The nonprofit Slattery Family Foundation is headquartered at an address at or near the Slattery home. It is not known what type of work it does, or whether it’s even active. According to an Internet database that tracks companies, nonprofits and investors, impluCorporation, the foundation has no assets or income.
Port commissioners were glad a new corporate hangar is coming.
“There will be a very good return on investment,” Roger Zabinski said.
“I think it shows growth and investment,” Axel Strakeljahn said.
Port CEO Tim Thomson said the arrival of a new hangar will a boost for aviation businesses at the airport. The jet most likely will get fuel from nearby Avian Flight Center. The Airport Diner routinely supplies corporate jets with meals.
Not much money appears to be involved for the port.
A company that Slattery is connected with — Bremerton Hangars, LLC — is the lessee of the three-quarter-acre plot of land. It will pay the port $760 a month on the 30-year lease.
The port already has paid money of its own into the project, for soil studies and other preliminary work. Next year, it will pay more to move around utilities to make way for the hangar. Port spokesman Rich Peterson could not immediately say how much.
The hangar will be situated directly north of four corporate hangars that are there already. All are off the northwest corner of the runway and can be seen from Highway 3. Occupants are those hangars are a guarded secret, but two are known to be local companies. A fifth hangar at Bremerton National Airport leased by the port to Avian Aeronautics and Avian Flight Centers can handle corporate jets like the Gulfstream 4 or the Cessna Citation.
Corporate hangars are more than sheds. Costing sometimes more than a $1 million to construct, they have offices and restrooms. The one to be built at Bremerton National will be 35 feet tall and have 11,500 square feet of space.
But owners of corporate jets that can easily cost $30 million want to protect their investment.
“They don’t want it sitting in the rain,” Peterson said.
Nearby Tacoma Narrows Airport has about 15 corporate hangars. Jefferson County International Airport has several that can take smaller corporate jets, but the runway there is too short to handle bigger ones, according to Dave Ward of Northwest Hangars, LLC, which builds hangars throughout the Northwest.
At present, not a lot of room exists at Bremerton National Airport for more corporate hangars. The Navy owns land north of the hangar to be built, so one there would take its cooperation. Drainage would pose a problem off the southwest part of the runway. An upcoming master-plan update for the airport could call for more big hangar space to the east of the runway, though there are no utilities to support that now.
The announcement of a new hangar comes just before the holidays, when more corporate jets than usual visit. Many carry top executives of big-box stores like Costco and Target, here to check on business. Navy brass come for occasions like changes of command. UPS jets use the airport daily. During less busy times, two or three non-UPS jets visit per week, according to port airport overseer Fred Salisbury.
Millennium Laboratories is a research-based clinical diagnostic company. It has a training facility for clinical toxicologist scientists and partners with the University of California at San Diego in research.
Slattery founded Millennium Laboratories in 2007. Earlier, he worked in real-estate development and broadcast communications, and created the first satellite network in the United States, according to the Millennium Laboratories website. He served as commissioner of aeronautics for the state of Massachusetts and is a pilot for Angel Flight West, which provides free medical-assistance flights in the West.