Steamboat Springs A Denver-based airport consulting and development firm has submitted plans to build seven new aircraft hangars in three buildings at Steamboat Springs Airport.
Airport Development Group Inc. wants to build the new hangars on land envisioned for that purpose on the southeast side of the airport terminal and parking lot and just beyond the airport rescue and fire building.
“Aircraft hangars are something we can never have enough of,” Airport Manager Mel Baker said. “At a high mountain airport, if you want to have full utility of your aircraft, you definitely have to have a hangar.”
Documents on file with the city show Aviation Development Group intends to build three prefabricated steel buildings, one of 9,700 square feet, a second of 9,200 square feet and the smallest measuring 4,800 square feet. Plans also call for creating vehicle access and a taxi lane.
Former Airport Authority Chairman Mike Forney told the Steamboat Today in late 2011 that 115 aircraft are based at the airport. He said there are 34 private hangars and 10 owned by the city.
Baker said close to half of the existing hangars are taken by second-home owners who use their planes to come in and out of Steamboat. But even with reduced recreational flying by locally based pilots, there is a scarcity of hangar space for transient pilots who fly into Steamboat, particularly in the winter.
The airport has been able to accommodate some transient fliers through a nightly rental agreement with a second-home owner who seldom visits in the winter, Baker said. That allows airport staff to move visiting aircraft into that hangar overnight to allow them to thaw out, eliminating the need for an expensive de-icing procedure.
“With a new hangar development, we hope there will be more for us to use,” Baker said.
De-icing, which can cost $600 to $800 for one treatment, is just one of the economic pressures that has resulted in reduced recreational flying, Baker said. The cost of aviation fuel is $6.20 per gallon, making it more costly for private pilots to take small planes out for a spin around the valley.
The applicants are asking the city to validate approval for the first phase of construction for three years and the second phase for six years.
Baker said if Airport Development Group obtains the necessary city development permits and is poised to break ground this summer, the city first would negotiate a long-term ground lease with the company.
To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com