Columbus Municipal Airport is investing in more storage space for airplanes.
The airport plans to build a 24,180-square-foot building at the northeast corner of Arnold Street and Ray Boll Boulevard to provide six more hangars, airport director Brian Payne said.
Each hangar will be 62 feet by 65 feet and will hold four single-engine airplanes or a corporate jet and an additional single-engine aircraft, he said.
The project, estimated to cost $1.4 million, is important because the airport has a waiting list of 15 people interested in hangar space, Payne said.
A site development plan was unanimously approved by the Columbus Plan Commission and construction of the building, parking lot and taxiway is expected to begin this fall.
The airport initially budgeted $600,000 for the project, Payne said.
The airport director said he will ask city council members in August for an additional $800,000 to pay for the building. If approved, the money would come out of the city’s airport budget, which doesn’t rely on taxpayer dollars, Payne said.
Airport officials plan to approach the Columbus Redevelopment Commission to seek tax increment financing dollars to relocate utilities for the building.
The airport, which collects a majority of its revenue through farming, land leases in the Columbus AirPark and fuel sales, has been saving money for the proposed development, Payne said.
The project is a good move for the airport down the road, said Thomas Jeffries, owner and managing member of Jeff Air Pilot Services, which services the airport.
Adding the hangar space will boost fuel sales for Jeff Air, which is the fixed-base operator for the Columbus and Greenwood municipal airports, he said.
“There is a real shortage of corporate hangars in the area and people are looking for affordable space,” Jeffries said.
Payne predicted more public interest in the airport once the additional hangar space is available.
Columbus’ airport was named Airport of the Year by the Aviation Association of Indiana in 2016.