Four years after the development first was proposed, the plan to build new hangars at Steamboat Springs Airport finally is taking off.
The city of Steamboat Springs and Colorado Group Realty broker Randall Hannaway announced this week the five new executive hangars proposed for the airport all have been reserved, and initial construction could start as early as this spring.
The new facilities will accommodate aircraft ranging in size from smaller single-engine aircraft such as Piper Meridians to bigger aircraft such as the King Air 90.
“I think it’s going to be great for the airport and great for the community,” Public Works Director Chuck Anderson said about the hangar project. “The persistence on all sides paid off. Here we are four years later, and they’re going to happen. It shows the viability of the airport.”
The hangars from the Denver-based Aviation Development Group will be built between the terminal building that is being leased by SmartWool and the airport’s maintenance building.
Aircraft owners who have reserved the hangars have paid deposits, and the sales and pricing will be finalized in the coming weeks.
The original proposal called for the construction of about seven smaller hangars, but Hannaway said for every call he got about the smaller facilities, he got several more from aircraft owners who wanted bigger hangars to accommodate bigger planes.
The executive hangars will range in size from 3,600 square feet to 5,280 square feet and offer better heating, lighting and insulation systems than previous hangars at the airport.
Hannaway, the broker handling the sales of the hangars, said all of the buyers will have their aircraft based out of Steamboat, with many of them using their planes for business.
“These owners are living here, spending dollars here, and they’re using the aircraft to get to the businesses,” Hannaway said. “They have an economic impact.”
Anderson and Hannaway said the hangars also could provide a temporary place for planes to park and stay warm if the hangar tenants are willing to let them be used when their aircraft aren’t inside.
Hannaway said because the current inventory of hangars is booked at the aiport, it’s harder to do that now.
“It’s really going to be nice to have some extra places to put some planes,” Hannaway said.
Without the ability to de-ice at Steamboat Springs Airport or park in a hangar, some aircraft have been stuck at the airport while waiting for better weather conditions to take off.
Hannaway and Anderson said the new hangars also could attract more public investment at the airport.
“Whenever the Federal Aviation Administration is allocating funds, they like to see private investment at airports,” Hannaway said.
At the time of purchase, the owners will enter into a 40-year lease agreement with the city.
When the city originally sought proposals for the private development of the hangars in 2010, buying interest was slow.
Anderson said Aviation Development Group was given extensions by the city to get them reserved, and the new hangars were called for in a master plan done for the airport in 2008.
According to FAA records, there are 89 aircraft currently based at Steamboat Springs Airport, including 73 single-engine general aviation aircraft, eight multi-engine aircraft, two jets and six general aviation helicopters.
The summer hangar project will bring the number of hangars up to 39, with 10 owned by the city.