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Regional Airport Breaks Ground to Build T-Hangar
VIENNA TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Many aircraft owners in northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania won’t believe new hangars are under construction at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport until they see them coming out of the ground.
That time has come, says Dan Dickten, the airport’s director of aviation, with Wednesday’s ground breaking on the first of three new 14-unit T-hangars to be built over the next few years. “I can assure you we are getting it done,” he remarked.
The start of construction coincides with the new $1.1 million taxi lane that will connect the new hangars to the airfield. The new hangar will be ready for occupancy in late October or early November, Dickten told business and community leaders attending the event. Fourteen of the spaces in the new building are already leased, including three new tenants that will join 11 existing customers, and waiting lists are being put together for two additional hangers to be built over the few years.
“Not only will these new facilities help the airport meet demand for general aviation but they will also provide additional growth for the airport,” he said. Each of the hangars will cost about $500,000 to build and equip.
Scott Lynn, chairman of the Western Reserve Port Authority, which operates the airport, said he has been waiting for years “to get this project done.”
Lynn, a pilot for The DeBartolo Corp., acknowledged the groundbreaking had special meaning to him. “A lot of the tenants in our old hangars that are moving into these new hangars. They deserve a nicer, newer place because they’ve been loyal tenants,” he said. “I’m happy to see them get a new home.”
In remarks that referenced negative characterizations of the airport by its critics, Vienna Township Trustee Phil Pegg said the airport is a “black hole” no more. “It’s a light. It’s a light in Vienna, in the Mahoning Valley, in northeast Ohio, and I think it will continue to shine for some time with this new project,” he said.
“Make no mistake -- the stronger our airport, the stronger Mahoning and Trumbull counties become and the stronger our communities become,” offered Trumbull County Commissioner Dan Polivka. “With the advent of the new energy age in the region, this airport becomes more important to the future growth of the Mahoning Valley."
Dickten noted that shale activity has already increased business for Winner Aviation, the airport’s fixed-base operator, more charter-flight activity.
“We’re expecting more growth within the next year,” he said. "We benchmark with a lot of the airports in Pennsylvania who have experienced great growth due to the Marcellus shale.”
The T-hangars highlight the value of general aviation, which is important for business development and corporate air travel as well as recreation, said state Sen. Capri Cafaro, D-32 Hubbard. The airport is “a shared resource” for Mahoning and Trumbull counties, she remarked.
People are watching Youngstown, Warren and the Mahoning Valley as a whole, not only from Columbus but from across the country looking to invest here, said state Sen., Joe Schiavoni, D-33 Canfield. “When we work together and we invest in an intelligent way to grow our community, it fosters economic development,” he said.
Copyright 2012 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.