An aerial view of the Visalia Municipal Airport, with a white square showing the planned location of a new corporate jet hangar. Image via City of Visalia.
Written by David Castellon
The Visalia City Council could vote tonight on a lease agreement that would allow for the construction of a new corporate jet hangar at the city’s municipal airport.
Optimal Aviation Services, LLC, which has operated a hangar at the airport leasing space to store corporate jets since 2006, is looking to expand by building a second hangar on the airport property.
The City Council will hear tonight the second reading of an ordinance authorizing the city 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.
After the reading, the council is expected to approve the project.
Optimal Aviation is looking to build a 15,000-squre-foot hanger with office space on the site, as well as make ramp improvements nearby.
Under the proposed agreement, the city would offer a 25-year lease on the land, with an option for three five-year extensions.
The rent would start at $1,941.10 per month for the first year. After that, the rent would be adjusted each year at the rate of the California Consumer Price Index, though the lease rate would never go below the starting price, according to a report submitted to the council members.
If approved, the Optimal Aviation expansion would be 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.