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JRA Hears About Hangar Needs, Wants

Posted on 4/11/2013

The possibility of building hangars at the Jamestown Regional Airport drew a crowd of approximately 25 interested people Wednesday.

During the meeting, members of the Jamestown Regional Airport Authority showed a preliminary tentative plan for nested T-hangars in the southwest part of the airport's land.

"We don't want to build something that's not user-friendly, or that isn't what you guys want or need," said Keith Veil, a member of the JRAA.

The hangars would be built 10 at a time, with eight small ones and two larger ones on the end, and the plan would be to start with one set of 10 and build additional sets according to demand.

The project was patterned after a similar one at Mandan Municipal Airport.

During the meeting, the JRAA took people's questions but also asked questions - do plane-owners want electricity? Heat? Should gas lines be put in, and should the hangars be insulated?

"I have no demand for heat," said Jim Lawler, manager of the Mandan Municipal Airport, adding that pilots will spend money on planes but pinch pennies on storage. "I have guys that'll work out there with 20 below or colder."

They use electric space heaters to keep warm.

Another question was how much pilots are willing to pay per month to store their airplanes at the JRA.

While there's no exact estimate on the cost of a 10-unit hangar, Mandan's cost $500,000 or more. The JRAA is considering charging enough to pay for the hangar in 20 to 25 years.

The project will be eligible for federal funding, but hangars are not prioritized very highly, said Mayor Katie Andersen, JRAA member.

Federal funding would likely pay for most of the cost of the aprons leading to the hangars, however, said JRAA member Jeff Wilhelm.

Pilots at the meeting agreed that the rent shouldn't be higher than $200 per month, and some said they felt $165 was too steep.

There was also some question over where the hangars should be located. While the tentative plan is to have them on the southwest part of the airport's land, it may be possible to place them on the southeast part instead.

Jim Boyd, JRAA chairman, said that he hoped to begin building the first set of hangars this year, but said the JRAA would have to continue looking at the market for hangars first.

Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be

reached at 701-952-8453

or by email at klucin@jamestownsun.com