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Airport plans small-plane hangar space

Airport officials expect demand to be high for the hangars for 28 private planes because there is a waiting list for the existing spots.

By TERESA BURNEY, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 31, 2001

BROOKSVILLE -- The Hernando County Airport plans to start building hangar space for 28 small private airplanes this spring, and airport officials are working to lease them before construction is finished in July.

Chances are good they will have plenty of interested pilots. The airport's 40 existing spots for small airplanes have been full for several years, and there is a waiting list of about 25 plane owners, said airport director Bob Mattingly.

Airport officials will start taking applications from registered aircraft owners for the new hangar space at 8 a.m. Jan. 7. Those already on the waiting list, and others who want to lease space in the new hangars, must submit an application, Mattingly said.

"That way everybody has an equal chance" at the space, he said.

Enclosed hangar space is in demand throughout the country, said area airport operators.

"I think no matter where you are, if you build the hangars, you will fill them up," said Scott Pollock, general manager of Tampa Flying Service, the fixed base operator at Peter O. Knight Airport in Tampa.

There is a yearlong waiting list for enclosed small-plane hangars at Peter O. Knight, Pollock said. Other Tampa Bay airports report similar waiting lists.

And many small-plane owners, who fly for recreation, are willing to drive many miles for spots, said Pollock, who has customers from the Pinellas beaches, a good 45 minutes away.

The airport is planning to build the two new buildings of T-hangars in the airport's southeast area, with access from U.S. 41 and Runway Drive. One building will have space for 15 planes and have 44-foot-wide doors; the other will hold 13 planes and have 40-foot-wide doors.

Mattingly expects construction to cost $700,000, with grants from the Florida Department of Transportation paying $475,000 of the total. The rest will be borrowed, and hangar rent will be used to pay off the debt, he said.

Rents are estimated at $250 to $350 a month, depending on the final construction costs. For reservation applications and more information, call the airport at 754-4061.

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