Municipal Airport to have new hangars by JuneWORTHINGTON — Construction is underway at the Worthington Municipal Airport for a new addition to the existing facility off U.S. 59, north of town.
WORTHINGTON — Construction is underway at the Worthington Municipal Airport for a new addition to the existing facility off U.S. 59, north of town.
The project will provide four new hangar bays in addition to the 20 “T hangars” — all of which are currently occupied, said City Administrator Craig Clark.
“One part of the bay is strictly to accommodate our crop spraying business (Arnt Aerial Spraying) located at our airport,” explained Jim Laffrenzen, the city’s director of public works. “We’re going to build a chemical loading pad (from) which we’ll be able to load the spray plane on to a concrete loading pad and it will be self-contained.”
A chemical storage space for Arnt Aerial Spraying is also being constructed. Of the three remaining hangars, Laffrenzen said one has already been leased.
Slated to be completed by June 30, the project is funded in part by a 50 percent matching grant from the Office of Aviation and Aeronautics, a part of Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).
The grant will fund all costs associated with site work. The city also received a hangar loan from the state which will be repaid at zero percent interest over the course of 10 years.
Over the years, the facility has undergone numerous improvements. The fueling system was replaced to accommodate tanker-loads of fuel and to be able to provide a self-serve option.
“It’s one of the positioning features for our airport too,” Clark said. “We wanted to be an attractive alternative for people flying cross-country who are refueling.”
Laffrenzen added that the fuel filtration system is of the “highest standards.”
“Many corporations who come in don’t want to refuel unless there is a certain standard for filtration,” he said.
The airport is currently managed by Integrity Aviation — the fixed base operator — on a contract agreement with the city.
Airports Manager for Integrity, Cameron Johnson, explained that while airline traffic ceased in the 1980s, the airport primarily caters for area businesses, air ambulance services, and during the summer, for leisure customers as well.
“On a yearly average, we have three- to four airplanes a day, but of course there are days when you don’t see anything and some days when there are 10 planes,” Johnson added.
Although the airport is not widely utilized by city residents, Clark explained that the facility is a positive asset to the community.
“When we talk about economic development, this airport is critical for successful business growth and development,” he said.
Daily Globe reporter Ana Anthony can be reached at 376-7321