Truckee airport considering $9 million hangar for pilots, events | SierraSun.com

Truckee airport considering $9 million hangar for pilots, events

Margaret Moran
mmoran@sierrasun.com

A look at preliminary renderings of the three multi-use hangar options that the Truckee Tahoe Airport District is considering constructing.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Truckee Tahoe Airport District is seeking input on whether to construct a multimillion-dollar hangar that officials say aim to serve aviation and community uses.

Options at $3 million, $6 million and $9 million are being considered — all of which will be 36 feet tall and range between 11,000 to 14,000 square feet — along with a no project option.

The district has enough reserve funds to cover the expense of each option, said Kevin Smith, TTAD general manager.

"We only need the $3 million building to de-ice an airplane," he said. "Everything else is community space. When you start adding all the extra stuff that the airplanes don't need, but the community would like or would provide community benefit, then the price goes up.

"… The question that we're trying to ask is: Do you want us spending $9 million on a building that has a lot of community utility?"

In an effort to answer that question, the district is gathering input from local nonprofits and recently launched a FlashVote survey.

Recommended Stories For You

The survey will close at 5 p.m., Monday, July 20, with its results and nonprofit feedback to be presented to the board of directors at its Wednesday, July 22, meeting, said Seana Doherty, owner of Truckee-based Freshtracks Communications.

Freshtracks is assisting the district in community outreach, at a cost of roughly $10,000 to date, Smith said.

Overall, the district has spent approximately $150,000 on the hangar project, including outreach, concept and budget planning for the facility, with funding coming from district reserves, he said.

The board would likely make a decision on whether to pursue the hangar project in September, Smith said.

If approved, groundbreaking could take place next summer, with construction taking about a year to complete, he said.

While constructing the hangar would have a multimillion-dollar up-front cost, it would ultimately make money for the airport district, Smith said.

According to the district, the first option would yield an estimated $12 million in net revenue by 2055, with the second option estimated to generate $11 million and the final option having a $4 million return.

Those estimates are based on de-icing and hangar use fees, and they do not include nonprofit use, Smith said. The board has yet to determine if it will charge nonprofits a use fee, but if so, it will be minimal, he said.

As far as whether the hangar would generate additional aircraft traffic, the district doesn't believe it will based on consultant and staff research, Smith said.

"When we ask (operators) that question … they don't understand that question," he said. "They're like, 'why would we come because of a hangar?' It's all about the (passengers) in back. Proximity to final destination is what we are finding as the primary driver of why people come to this airport."

Further, for planes that would use this proposed hanger, they could easily be rolled out to accommodate events, which are often scheduled in advance, Smith said.

"There's a dual purpose," he said. "There's that public benefit component, as well as providing quality services to our aeronautical customers, so it's trying to do both and balance both of those. They are both of equal importance."

The multi-use hangar was identified in 2013 during an airport master plan update outreach process as a favored capital project by both community members and pilots.

Three options

1. Estimated at $3 million, this hangar could house small to large aircraft including business jets year-round with warming and de-icing capabilities. In addition, it could accommodate a 220-person gathering, but wouldn’t have kitchen space for food preparation and would require portable toilets for an event.

2. Estimated at $6 million, this hangar would have the same aviation capabilities as option one, but with additional community amenities including in-floor heating, a backup generator and restrooms to accommodate 200 people. It would not include kitchen facilities.

3. Estimated at $9 million, this hanger would have the same features as option two, but would have restrooms that can accommodate 600 people, a commercial kitchen area, additional community meeting space and exterior canopies.

Source: Truckee Tahoe Airport District, truckeetahoeairport.com

———-

If you go

What: Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board of Directors meeting

When: 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 22

Where: Truckee Tahoe Airport Community Room A, 10356 Truckee Airport Road, Truckee

Online: Visit flashvote.com/ttadhangar to take the survey.