The Spokane Airport Board plans to construct two new taxi lanes at Felts Field to meet rising demand from airplane owners who want to build hangars there.
The taxi lanes will provide access to 14 hangar sites that could accommodate a variety of hangar sizes, says airport spokesman Todd Woodard. The airport board plans to construct the taxi lanes at the northeast end of the Spokane Valley-based general aviation airport later this summer, Woodard says. Most of the hangars Felts Field already has are occupied, he says.
This project is about feeding the demand for hangar development at Felts, Woodard says.
The taxi lanes, which will have a combined length of 2,100 feet, will be located on the east side of the airport property, near the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Coleman Road. They will join together then connect to taxiways that lead to Felts Fields three runways, he says.
Felts Field plans to lease out the parcels to developers who would build their own hangars, primarily for business or personal use, Woodard says. SIA has a waiting list of 22 potential hangar developers for those plots, he says.
For contracting purposes, the board will bundle the project at Felts Field with several projects planned at Spokane International Airport (SIA). It expects to select a contractor for that work by late June, Woodard says. Spokane-based Taylor Engineering Inc. designed the projects at Felts Field and SIA.
The taxi-lane project at Felts Field likely will cost about $300,000, and construction is expected to start by early July and take two months to complete, he says. Woodard expects that the board will secure leases for the hangar sites before the taxi lane project is completed, and that developers could start building hangars by late summer.
Just two years ago, several hangars were constructed at Felts Field, including a hangar facility built by Moody Aviation, the aviation training arm of Chicago-based Moody Bible Institute. Growth at Moody Aviation has contributed to Felts Fields operations, although overall growth at the airfield has been relatively flat, he says. For that reason, Woodard says he has been surprised at the level of interest developers have expressed in building new hangars there.
Woodard says he suspects that Spokanes healthy economy is contributing to rising hangar demand at Felts Field. Hangar owners there typically are businesspeople who use their own planes for personal use or to travel to meetings in Seattle, Boise, and other cities in the region, he says. As a result of a stronger economy, those aircraft owners might have the money to upgrade their planes or buy others, thus necessitating more hangar space, he says.
I think a lot of it has to do with a better economy, he says. Maybe hangar owners see a surge coming in the general-aviation industry.
Felts Field is a 400-acre airport with 320 aircraft based there and 49 tenants, and has about 105 acres of developable land, its Web site says. Felts Field and SIA are owned jointly by the city of Spokane and Spokane County and are operated by the Spokane Airport Board, the members of which are made up of city and county appointees.
Contact Emily Brandler at (509) 344-1265 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
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