Vail Valley Jet Center plans to build nine new hangars to meet airport’s growing needs
Lack of aircraft hangar and ramp space is an issue throughout the region
GYPSUM — It’s not just people who have limited housing options in Eagle County.
The Vail Valley Jet Center, the general aviation operator at the Eagle County Regional Airport, has launched a plan to build nine new hangars at the site to meet its growing regional and international business needs.
Allissa Hollis, director of customer relations for the Vail Valley Jet Center, noted the Eagle County Regional Airport was host to 689 international business jet arrivals in 2018.
“Well over 700 international business aircraft arrivals are now anticipated in 2019,” Hollis said.
Hollis said fuel efficiency trends in the aviation industry have led to aircraft designs with wider wingspans and winglet extensions that increase aircraft lift and operating efficiencies but also create a need for larger aircraft ramps and hangar facilities.
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“Due to the lack of aircraft hangar and ramp space throughout the region, over 30% of the Vail Valley Jet Center’s hangar space is dedicated to customers who actually live in Aspen, Garfield and Pitkin Counties,” Hollis said. “To help meet their needs, the Vail Valley Jet Center added five acres of concrete aircraft apron, capable of handling the largest, quietest and most fuel-efficient international business jet aircraft in the world.”
Hollis added that the Vail Valley Jet Center started construction on its new 38,000-square-foot community hangar which features a private customer lounge, super-sized vehicle garages, aircraft maintenance bays and office spaces with direct walk-through door access to the hangar. As the center’s seventh business jet hangar, the new facility will be designated Hangar 7. It will provide terminal and working space for passengers, flight crews, flight attendants, aircraft mechanics and aircraft service technicians.
“Hangar 7 is the first of three new, extra-large community hangars to be built west of the commercial terminal,” Hollis said. “Hangar 7 is already overbooked with base tenants; as a result, the jet center has begun planning for Hangar 8 and has already started breaking ground on future hangar sites.”
Finally, Hollis said the Vail Valley Jet Center is also embarking on a multi-use, custom-built hangar complex.
“This unique development offers a rare opportunity to build your very own large or extra-large airport hangar,” she said.
The custom-built hangar option will provide long-term leasing, revenue-sharing, fixed base operations services and on-site international customs services. The hangars will also include business offices, private garages, recreation equipment storage and upscale lounges. The complex is designed for large and extra-large aircraft with plans for hangars that are 100 feet by 100 feet and 120 feet by 120 feet.
“The Eagle County Regional Airport has extensive airport facilities and services that few other mountain resort airports in the world have to offer,” Hollis said. “The jet center plans to design and custom-build each hangar to the unique specifications of each owner.”
Earlier this summer, the Gypsum Town Council approved the construction proposal for the nine new hangars.
“Generally, improvements at the airport benefit Gypsum through fuel sales and bringing in more spending to the community,” said Jeremy Reitmann, Gypsum’s town manager. “Additionally, more activity out there creates more local jobs.”
Hollis said the new hangars and related facilities will help employ dozens of pilots, flight attendants, aircraft mechanics, aircraft technicians.
“This project will support the efforts to bring sought-after aviation service jobs to our community, not to mention the additional construction-related jobs,” she said.