New hangars proposed at Seymour airport


As a runway and taxiway project is expected to start this month at Freeman Municipal Airport in Seymour, an area man has shared a proposal to add a hangar at the facility.

During a recent Seymour Municipal Airport Authority meeting, Lance Bartels said he would like to find a spot for a hangar, either 350-by-40 feet and 16 feet tall or 150-by-100 feet in size, to accommodate corporate jets and some transient aircraft.

“Currently, you don’t have any corporate jets here or any jets period, and I work on a couple jets that I’d love to get to move this direction,” Bartels said. “I explained to Don (Furlow, airport manager), these people are people that are going to burn fuel and utilize these great runways that we’re spending all of this money to build.”

Bartels owns Cherry Hill Aviation, which offers aviation maintenance and flight instruction at the airport. He also said he has a grass strip called Cherry Hill and hangars in Brown County and a hangar at Columbus Municipal Airport that Eagle Avionics runs for him.

He told the Seymour board he would like to see some growth at the airport.

“Over the years, we’ve kind of expanded quite a bit here with bringing customers to this area, primarily from airports that I have friends at, like Paoli, Salem, Clark County,” Bartels said. “Since I’m a pilot now in Louisville, I’ve brought up a lot of people this way, primarily because our facility is such a large area and has good runways for the most part when they’re open and we’ve got good facilities.”

The airport, however, is running out of room to house aircraft.

That’s where his hangar, at around 14,000 to 15,000 square feet, would help.

Bartels presented drawings for the layout of his proposed hangar for the authority to review.

“It really depends on how we work with some of these customers and where the location is in relation to the fuel farm,” he said. “What it boils down to is numbers. To get the people to come here, you’ve got to spend money, but it has to be feasible for them to want to come from Clark County all the way up here.”

Each time a corporate aircraft is fired up, Bartels said it’s a cycle and typically involves tugging the aircraft.

“I’ve got guys at my facility that can be trained to do that, and they do it with a lot of aircraft right now. That becomes a liability. Plus, it becomes a factor in the wintertime and weather,” he said.

“Our customers, they are not going to want to have a facility pretty far away from these other fuel pumps because the fuel is the key,” he said. “These guys are going to be fueling their corporate aircraft every time they come in and come out of here.”

Authority President Brian Thompson said there already are some buildings located by the fuel farm, so he asked about bringing in a thunder trailer to store the types of fuel needed.

Paul Shaffer, executive vice president of BF and S in Indianapolis, said a trailer could be used, and aircraft can’t be inside a hangar when being fueled.

He also told Bartels the International Building Code 2012 limits the hangar size without fire suppression to 12,000 square feet.

“The fire suppression system on an aircraft hangar gets pretty expensive, so you might want to look at that before you get too far down the road and figure out the fire suppression system costs more than the actual building,” Shaffer said.

Depending which customer he gets to move in, Bartels said that will determine how big the hangar needs to be. One of the customers has the largest corporate jet that’s built and requires a lot of fuel, he said.

He hoped to have one of his customers meet with airport officials to tour the facility and look at potential locations for the hangar.

“One of them doesn’t want to spend any money on building a hangar, and that’s where I come into play,” Bartels said. “I’m playing my cards hoping that they are going to be around for a while and try to accommodate them.”

Thompson said the next project at the airport is to build up the apron, which would accommodate larger aircraft.

“It’s kind of rough in spots now, and there is some exposed drainage, so we’re hoping to address that pretty quickly here,” he said. “Hopefully, that can help.”

During the meeting, Furlow also said the airport took over the blue hangar next to the terminal at the end of May. He said it could take a couple of weeks to do some cleanup inside. Around five aircraft can fit in there, he said.

Diane Schepman, administrative assistant at the airport, said there are 13 aircraft on the waiting list, so she will work through the list to see who wants to rent space in the hangar.

The front of the hangar that faces A Avenue has potential space for a business. Furlow said he talked to the owners of White’s Pizza on B Avenue to see if they would be interested in moving out to that space, but they said they are content with where they are and won’t be affected by the bypass that’s going to be constructed in the area.

“I did tell them, though, that any time in the future they need to vacate down there, we would be more than happy to talk to them and show them this area down here because I still think it would be a good fit for something like the operation they’ve got,” Furlow said.

Thompson said they will try to market the space for rental in hopes of gaining more revenue for the airport.

Furlow also said Tim Lynch has supplied drawings and gotten a contractor identified to build a hangar at the airport. It will be approximately 50-by-60 feet with an office and restrooms. An architect is supposed to come to the airport soon to look at the space.

“He’s anxious to get started,” Furlow said of Lynch.

No posts to display