Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport officials will talk to state officials in November about a grant to help build a new hangar.
Airport Director Barbara McNally told her governing board last week that she and airport engineers will be ready with the data to present to the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC) to petition for a grant that will cover 40 percent of the cost of building a new hangar to house new tenants. McNally and Ed Petersen, chairman of the Lawton Metropolitan Area Airport Authority’s development committee, said Lawton has a good chance of winning a grant from funds that OAC is making available to airports through its Hangar Development Program. Applicants have their choice of a grant equal to 40 percent of hangar construction cost or a loan covering 70 percent.
Airport authority members decided in September they wanted the 40 percent grant, a recommendation McNally made because the airport would not have to repay those funds. The balance of what is roughly estimated at $1.3 million cost will come from a request the airport authority will make to the City of Lawton for funding from the Capital Improvements Program. That debt would be repaid when tenants move into the hangar and begin paying rent, McNally said.
“I’ll go to the OAC in November,” McNally said, of her presentation on the grant.
If awarded, construction on the new hangar is expected to begin in Spring 2024, with the facility operational later that year.
Airport officials have said the new hangar will be similar to Hangar 3, providing housing for four or five aircraft. The hangar will be built on vacant land west of Hangar 3 and Hangar 5 (which houses the airport’s administrative and aviation services offices), and all are adjacent the runway and taxiway.
Members of the airport authority have discussed new hangar space multiple times in recent months, saying some commercial and general aviation aircraft owners store their aircraft elsewhere because the Lawton airport has no room. McNally said Hangar 3, which is leased to tenants, typically is full or near capacity.