Steamboat Springs A 30-acre plot of land sunk 30 to 40 feet below runway grade may one day hold up to 80 planes at the Steamboat Springs Airport.
The city is allowing Airport Manager Matt Grow to begin negotiations with a company called Dunn Properties to build airplane hangars just north of the terminal.
Last month, City Council gave Grow the go ahead to begin negotiations with Mountain Flight Services to try to put together a deal on hangar construction and possible renovations to the terminal building.
Mountain Flight Services currently offers charter service on demand and air ambulances at the airport.
Council asserted that the public needs to comment on such a major expansion to the airport before any deals are finalized.
Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord said the public will get at least two chances to comment on the hangar proposals, once for the lease agreement and at least once for the development permit process once the companies put together their site plans.
The city also may have a public forum about the airport in two to three weeks, Grow said.
"I think we need to get the public involved, let them know what's happening with their airport," Grow said.
City Council, which tends to deal with the airport with deliberate care, due perhaps to the debt it incurred on an unused passenger terminal which the city will continue to pay off until 2008, wants to see final numbers on both proposals before making any decisions.
The Dunn Properties hangars could bring in up to $515,950 a year to the city from ground leasing and fuel sales based on projections for a 10 year build-out, according to Grow.
The city operates a fixed-base operation at the airport, which sells aviation fuel to plane owners and businesses, among other things.
Dunn Properties would likely have a 40-year lease or more on the property, Grow said.