Construction at Yampa Valley Regional Airport expected to bring more flights, revenue | SteamboatToday.com

Construction at Yampa Valley Regional Airport expected to bring more flights, revenue

The Yampa Valley Regional Airport expects to benefit from expansion of Atlantic Aviation, the fixed-base operator at the airport in Hayden. (File photo)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A fixed-base operator will be expanding its business at Yampa Valley Regional Airport with construction for more airplanes and flight services.

Atlantic Aviation provides airplane parking, hangars, fueling and travel planning to private customers at airports across the country. The company presented its construction project, slated to begin in March, to the Routt County commissioners during a Monday work session.

Officials estimate the new facilities, with completion scheduled for October, will add more than $40,000 in annual lease revenue to the airport. Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger also expects the new facilities to attract an affluent clientele, the kind of people who can afford their own private plane.

The construction plans include a larger asphalt parking apron for airplanes that will more than double the current space. A new terminal, storage building and parking lot for vehicles also will be built.

Kevin Booth, the airport’s director, said the expanded apron space will help to separate commercial flights from private ones and allow the airport additional room to operate. It will also improve safety by reducing congestion on the runway.

A site plan for the new fixed-base operator facilities. Source: Routt County

"It's a very positive impact on us," Booth said. "Operations here will go more smoothly."

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Hayden is Atlantic Aviation's newest location. Its contract with the airport required the construction project.

Patrick Burke, general manager for Atlantic's Hayden location, said the plans go beyond those requirements.

"The additional investment of expanding beyond the requirement of the lease was made by Atlantic Aviation for current customers and future growth potential," he said in an email.

That expansion means more revenue for the county-owned airport.

Atlantic Aviation leases property from the airport. Currently, it leases a 140,000-square-foot apron for $80,000 each year, according to Booth. The company's new apron, at 326,000 square feet, will generate about $125,000 of annual lease revenue for the airport, a 56 percent increase.

Monger, whose district includes the airport, has been active in enhancing its income and facilities. The airport became self-sufficient in 2007, Monger said, and this increased revenue could lead to more improvements.

"This is just another good step forward for our airport," he said.

He hopes the ability to acquire additional private flights will mean more high-income visitors staying in the area and spending money at local businesses.

"That's the kind of people we want to bring in here," Monger said.

Burke could not yet offer specifics on how many flights Atlantic will add with the new facilities. The company can keep two planes in its current hangar, a number expected to increase with these changes. Construction will finish in time to schedule more flights during the next winter season.

The project also allows the airport to expand parking spaces for commercial aircraft, Booth said. That could mean more commercial flights next winter as well.

To reach Derek Maiolo, call 970-871-4247, email dmaiolo@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @derek_maiolo.

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