Written by David Castellon
The Visalia City Council has approved a lease agreement allowing construction of a new corporate jet hangar at the city’s municipal airport.
The unanimous vote on Monday to approve the lease allows Optimal Aviation Services, LLC, which has operated since 2006 a hangar at the airport, to expand by building a second hangar on the airport property to store corporate jets.
Council members followed the recommendation of city staff to lease 61,300 square feet of property just south of the airport’s administrative office and lounge for passengers and pilots of private planes.
Optimal Aviation is looking to build a 15,000-squre-foot hanger with office space on the city-owned parcel, as well as to make ramp improvements nearby.
The city will provide a 25-year lease on the land, with an option for three five-year extensions.
The rent will start at $1,941.10 per month for the first year. After that, the rent will be adjusted each year at the rate of the California Consumer Price Index, though the lease rate never would go below the starting price, according to a report submitted to the council members.
Optimal Aviation’s expansion is the latest construction project planned for the Visalia Municipal Airport.
Mack Aviation, LLC, is planning to build a 15,000-square-foot hangar there from which to run a similar storage and fueling operation, with the possibility of adding an air charter service in the future.
In addition, the city will begin in November the process of seeking bids to build two “T” hangars for small planes and four hangars, each big enough to individually store a corporate jet.
A $3.7 million U.S, Department of Transportation grant is paying for those projects, the only such grant awarded to any airport in the country, said Katherine Bales, Visalia’s airport superintendent.