The number of hangars at the Hanover County municipal airport could nearly double in the next two decades after county officials approved expansion plans Wednesday night.
An amendment to an existing conditional use permit was approved by the Board of Supervisors, which allows about 25 acres of land acquired by the airport to be used for the additional hangars, as well as automobile parking and buildings for office space and maintenance.
A request by the county public works department to rezone the land, which sits on the east side of the runway on Air Park Road, from agricultural to light industrial was also approved, as was an amendment to a special exception permit that would allow the airport to install a fence that is taller than permitted by the county.
Each of the five supervisors who were present supported the requests.
G.E. “Ed” Via III, who represents the Ashland magisterial district, said the expansion was long expected and much needed.
“Hanover County airport is the best county airport I’ve ever seen in the commonwealth of Virginia,” Via said. “This item will enhance the airport, so we can move it forward in a continuing, positive manner.
“It has been a longtime desire of the county and airport officials to develop the east side of the airport,” he added before moving to approve all three of the items considered.
Chairman Wayne Hazzard, of the South Anna magisterial district, similarly voiced support and said the additional space would “expand the possibilities for our airport.
“I think this is really good for Hanover,” he said.
The expansion is consistent with a master plan adopted by the airport in 2002 and includes the addition of about 40 hangars varying in size up to 30,000 square feet that would be phased in over the next 10 to 15 years, said J. Michael Flagg, Hanover’s director of public works.
Longer-term plans include the addition of an airport terminal, but those are years down the line.
All of the space is leased in the airport’s 54 T-shaped hangars, forcing some corporate jets that fly into Hanover to find hangar space at other airports.
On average, 96 flights are managed at the Hanover airport daily, with 20 to 30 of those being corporate flights on planes that carry between eight and 10 passengers.
As a relief airport, the Hanover airport provides overflow support to larger airports in the region, such as Richmond International Airport.
Flagg said the expansion would help the Hanover airport further serve that purpose.