MARSHFIELD – The city has approved construction of a new corporate hangar at the Marshfield Municipal Airport, but officials are tight-lipped about who will actually use the hangar and what kind of aircraft will be inside.
Harold “Duffy” Gaier, owner of Duffy’s Aircraft, the business contracted to operate the city-owned airport, asked News-Herald Media not to report about the new hangar.
“If you want to do us a favor, don’t make any noise about this,” Gaier told a reporter. “We’ve been struggling to get ‘em in here, and they want to be absolutely anonymous, and we’re going to keep it that way.”
Mayor Chris Meyer said last week he did not know who would be operating the hangar.
The City Council in July OKed the hangar, which will be owned by a company organized in 2014 named RRH Real Estate Services. An agent of that company is Richard Roehl, of the Marshfield-based trucking company Roehl Transport, according to state corporate records.
Roehl did not respond to a message left for him on Monday.
The airport does not yet know the kind of plane or planes that will be in the hangar, according to airport manager Jeff Gaier. Even so, the new hangar will be 80 feet wide by 80 feet long, which is large enough to store a small jet, Gaier said.
“We don’t know what the exact reason is, why the people want to come here,” he said. “We certainly want them to come here, but we’re like any other airport in the state: We’re competing to get people to come in.”
If the hangar does store a jet, it would be good news for the city, which has been seeking state and federal dollars to extend a runway. The state has put that request on hold, Gaier said, because the airport at present does not have enough jet traffic. To be eligible for the runway extension money, 500 jet takeoffs and landings each year are required; the airport now is averaging 150 to 200 annual jet takeoffs and landings, Gaier said.
About 30 planes are based at Marshfield’s airport, which has two runways. The longest is 5,002 feet; the other is 3,600 feet.
Gaier said the largest plane he has seen at the airport is a Gulfstream III business jet, but the engineer who designed the airport has said a Boeing 737 could in theory land there. The only problem: “It just would never have enough space to take off again,” Gaier said.
The city will own the property on which the hanger is set to be located, and RRH Real Estate Services must pay the city an annual lease that will likely range between $280 and $300, as well as personal property taxes on the building, according to Gaier.
Construction on the new hangar could start sometime this month. It will be the airport’s third corporate hangar.