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"Airport should explore hangar options"
- To: <ganews@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: CAA: GA News, "Airport should explore hangar options"
- From: "Stephen Irwin" <stepheni@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 15 Nov 2002 03:33:49 -0800
- Importance: Normal
- Reply-To: <stepheni@xxxxxxxxx>
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Friday, November 15, 2002
Airport should explore options
Adding hangars makes sense
The Salisbury (MD) Daily Times
Amid all the focus on airline carriers, bankruptcies, runway expansions
and funding sources, an overlooked aspect of the Salisbury-Ocean City:
Wicomico Regional Airport has now come to light -- adequate (or in this
case, inadequate) hangar space. Robert Bryant, general manager of the
airport, reports that companies requesting hangar space for corporate
aircraft have been turned away recently because the facilities just
aren't there. This, Bryant reports, is lost revenue.
There is apparently disagreement about the ramifications of this lack of
facilities. While Bryant says the insufficient hangar space is a mere
inconvenience to corporate clients and represents lost revenue to the
airport, at least one resident says it represents lost opportunities to
lure new employers and industry to the region.
In nearby Sussex County, the airport in Georgetown recently upgraded
with a new terminal building that includes every amenity a pilot could
ask for, and boasts 20 hangars with four more under construction. Nearby
is an industrial park, making the airport a convenient facility for
Compare this with Salisbury's paltry three hangars that are large enough
to accommodate larger corporate aircraft, along with some 60 hangars for
single-engine or smaller double-engine planes. And two of the three
larger hangars lack the door width to allow corporate jets to use them.
Wicomico County's airport is obviously not exploiting a potentially
profitable niche, and Bryant is right to express a desire to begin
exploring the possibilities. He proposes using the largest hangar as an
incubator, leasing it for a short period of time and working with that
tenant to build a larger, permanent hangar on site. As each tenant moves
into its own hangar, another tenant would be found and another hangar
built. Each cycle would take some three years, making the process of
building up facilities a bit slow. But the incubator would overcome the
problem of finding funding and other resources to build several hangars
The incubator idea is worth exploring, but should not be the only
scenario that is examined. Salisbury-Wicomico Economic Development
reports it is ready to begin marketing an air business center -- a
mini-industrial park that is close by the airport.
If the success of Sussex County's airport is any indication, now is the
time for Salisbury's airport to make its move and begin to expand its
horizons. While such ambitious changes should be undertaken cautiously
and based on solid market research and data, it would also be unwise to
allow this potential source of revenue to slip away untapped.
Post your opinion on this story in the CAA General Aviation Forum
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