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Louisa Airport plans to double hangar space in $2.9 million renovation project

Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 1:53 pm

There is a waiting list for hangar space at the Louisa County Airport/Freeman Field. Plans are underway to add more hangars and renovate outdated ones.

The county’s airport plans to double the number of hangars for pilots to store their planes and build one hangar to try to lure a commercial tenant.

The Louisa County Industrial Development Authority, which owns the airport, will borrow up to $2.9 million to pay for 10 to 20 new hangars and to replace 20 existing ones, which date to the 1980s.

The authority will also build a 10,000-square-foot hangar next to the existing one by the terminal building. The hangar is intended either to attract a new business to operate at the airport or to serve larger aircraft.

At their Sept. 4 meeting, the Louisa County Board of Supervisors agreed to cover the IDA’s debt in the event the authority can’t pay it back.

The authority received $10,802 in rental income in July from hangar tenants. County government contributed another $8,631 in revenue as part of its $123,000 annual grant to the authority.

“We want to be as self-sufficient as we can, so we want to have something that generates money,” Ed Jarvis, the airport manager, said.

Jarvis said 14 pilots are currently on a waiting list for hangar space.

The hangars themselves make up a small part of the $2.9 million expense, Jarvis said. Ten hangars can be purchased for less than $200,000. Site preparation is the biggest cost, he said, and the exact price is hard to predict.

Because some of the new hangars will be located on land currently identified as wetlands, the IDA may have to pay $10,000 to buy an acre elsewhere in Virginia as mitigation. The acre of property will be enrolled in a wetlands bank and protected from development.

Jarvis said it is possible the IDA has an acre of wetlands elsewhere within the air park it could swap for the developed land, rather than pay cash.