The Pitt-Greenville Airport has completed construction of two new corporate hangars that officials hope will be the start of east coast hub for corporate aircraft.
The Airport Authority expects to receive the keys to the two new hangars today and will then immediately get to work to improve the access road to the hangers and a security fence around the hangar area.
The hangars will generate revenue for the airport and the area three ways, according to Jerry Vickers, executive director of the Pitt-Greenville Airport Authority.
The first is from leasing the hangars, the second is selling fuel to the planes, and the third is through tax revenue for Greenville and Pitt County.
Once the access road and fencing are repaired, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of March, the authority could begin leasing out the hangars at a cost of $8 per square foot, although if a company were to sign a three-year lease, it would likely receive a discount on the lease.
“The fuel is a big revenue raiser,” Vickers said. “The more of them, the thirstier they are, and we like it.”
If planes make their home at the airport, they must register and pay taxes in Greenville and Pitt County, so that brings additional revenue to the tax coffers.
The type of aircraft the airport attempts to attract for the larger hangar is in the $30 to $36 million range.
“This is the kind of tide that raises all kinds of boats,” Vickers said.
The planes that the airport hopes will lease the hangars do not have to be from local corporations. While the plane and the pilot may be based in the Greenville area, the corporation might be located in another state, Vickers said.
If the plane is needed for a trip, the pilot would begin the flight in Greenville, fly to the location where the corporation is located, pick up the passengers and fly them to their destination. At the end of the trip, the pilot would would fly back to Greenville to store the plane until the next trip.
“One aircraft we’re working to get is from a company in Charlottesville [Virginia],” Vickers said.
“We’ve got a lot of prospects; two that are really looking good,” he said. “We only need two.”
The first hangar, Hangar 22, is 150 feet by 75 feett with a 16 feet by 20 feet finished office space. The second hangar, Hangar 24, is 120 feet by 115 feet with a 36 foot by 36 foot unfinished office space and an epoxy floor.
The Airport Authority Board of Directors approved a $2 million budget for the hangars and it approved $1,996,220 to pay for construction and engineering. It had an additional $7,462 in change orders that it expects to pay for a projected shortfall of $3,682.
The Authority applied for two grants for the access road rehabilitation and security fencing improvements and reimbursement of hangar site development costs. It expects to receive a state grant for $336,300 for those two expenses, with $81,736 going to access road rehabilitation and $57,743 for security improvements.
“The city and the county will be happy with this grant as well because that reduced the payback period,” Vickers told the board on Wednesday.
After it receives $196,821 for the site development reimbursement, the total projected costs is expected to be $1,806.861.