A large and exciting project for the Newton City/County Airport is nearly completed. Hangar W is a 14,000 square foot community hangar, providing more space for the airport and its clients.
"It will be a great addition to the airport," said Operations Manager Kevin Timmermeyer.
The construction will not be completed until August, said Director of Public Works Suzanne Loomis. Due to the unusually wet weather, they are waiting for the appropriate moisture reading before painting epoxy on the concrete floor. Timmermeyer indicated there was only "minor stuff" and "punch list" items around the facility to finish.
Another delay was caused when an FAA permit was not acquired due to a computer glitch. Loomis said they had to wait a little longer to set the steel structure.
The new hangar has the largest doors on the airfield: 28-feet high with a 92-foot opening to accommodate larger business jets. Timmermeyer said it was designed to hold planes as large as the Challenger 604 or a regional jet. Depending on their size, it will hold an average of six aircraft.
There are already several interested parties, companies who are prepared to lease the space. Timmermeyer indicated the hangar would be full. What is not leased long-term, will be used for transient aircraft.
Office space occupies 2,000 square feet on the west side to accommodate clients.
County Commissioner Randy Hague called the airport "Harvey County's best kept secret."
There are 155 planes based there and 400 employees work at the various businesses.
"There's a wide variety of businesses and all are doing well," Timmermeyer said.
This includes Hesston College's Aviation Division, Midwest Aircraft Service, Park Aerospace, Ballard Aviation and others.
Already this year, there have been 70,000 operations, one operation consisting of a take-off and landing. Timmermeyer noted Newton is an all-weather airport with several different approaches for inclement weather.
Air MD LifeTeam operates their headquarters from the airport, including maintenance of all their aircraft and a dispatch center staffed 24/7. They operate a critical care transport from Newton with an ambulance and helicopter, as well as contract operations extending even to Hawaii.
The airport has experienced very strong growth recently. Last September, a runway was completed with an outstanding length of 7,000-feet, accommodating more aircraft. ABI Chemicals is building a new aerospace coating plant. Fuel sales have been strong, bringing in good revenue.
See what the airport has to offer yourself on Saturday, Oct. 4, at the 53rd Annual Fly-In by the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Local Chapter.