During a special board meeting, the Salina Airport Authority Board of Directors approved a lease agreement with Bombardier Flight Test Center for a portion of Hangar 959, commonly known as “Big Bertha.”
Bombardier Flight Test Center has been leasing hangar space at the Salina Airport since 2009 for aircraft storage. The lease of H959 will consolidate the space in Salina to a single hangar. This consolidation expands capability to store and operate aircraft at Salina.
Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Mike King announced a $350,000 T-WORKS Economic Development Grant. The T-WORKS grant supports a significant Kansas aerospace employer.
“As I look at projects like this all over the state, this one rose to the top very quickly,” said Sec. King. “When the governor hired me three years ago he wanted me to focus on three areas- on the budget, the economy and vision. This one fit all three.”
The total budget for the work has been set at $622,708. The Airport Authority’s share of the project cost will be recovered over a 20-month time period. Work includes H959 taxiway and aircraft parking apron improvements. The board unanimously approved the project budget.
“The project supports BFTC flight test programs,” explained Tim Rogers, A.A.E., Salina Airport Authority Executive Director. “The hangar was vacated by Hawker Beechcraft in February 2012. It has had in the past aircraft operations and aircraft storage. This will bring aviation use back into the hangar.”
The return of H959 to aeronautical use is consistent with the Airport Authority’s master plan for airport development and this use will result in additional air traffic count and increased fuel sales.
Story by Melissa McCoy / Salina Airport Authority