Cutter Aviation’s new $5 million general aviation terminal at the Colorado Springs Airport had been on the drawing board for more than a decade before the Phoenix-based company began construction last August.
The 5,400-square-foot facility is more than three times the size of the building it replaces and is part of $16.5 million in hangar, fuel and fire suppression facilities Cutter is building on the airport’s west side.
The company has wanted to build a larger terminal for small private aircraft since it acquired a hangar, terminal and fuel sales complex called Discount Fuels at the airport in 2006, said Steve Prieser, Cutter’s vice president and chief financial officer.
“We always wanted to build a new facility closer to the runway. The current facility is hard to get to and doesn’t handle larger aircraft. The recession curtailed our plans, but we made the decision two years ago to move forward,” Prieser said.
“This is a world-class facility that will be the primary gateway to the city for visiting executives and others arriving here on private aircraft. It was designed with an upscale lodge feel with a majority of the materials from Colorado.”
The terminal now has 11,000-square-feet of space covered by a roof and features a conference room, pilot lounge, rental car agencies and other facilities for private aircraft operators.
Cutter will continue to use the current terminal for tenants of the 60 hangars it leases to aircraft owners, Prieser said. A formal, invitation-only grand opening is planned next month.
The new terminal is part of a complex with an expanded fueling area that has two 20,000-gallon tanks for jet fuel and a fire suppression system that is designed to serve much of the remaining vacant land in the immediate area on the airport’s west side, including a 60,000-square-foot hangar under construction on adjacent land for Sierra Nevada Corp. The $11.5 million Sierra Nevada hangar, the largest at the airport, is scheduled for completion in September and will be used for maintenance and alternations on military and civilian aircraft by its Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance unit.
Cutter plans to build another 20,000-square-feet of hangar space adjacent to the terminal, likely in the next five years, Prieser said.