PORT ANGELES — The Port of Port Angeles was approved this week for a $325,000 low-interest loan to install new sewer lines at the William R. Fairchild International Airport to service hangars expected to be built.
The 20-year loan, from the newly authorized state Community Aviation Revitalization Board (CARB), will fund installation of 1,300 linear feet of sewer lines, according to John Nutter, port deputy executive director.
“The new hangars will bring new jobs and economic activity to the airport,” Nutter said in a press release issued Thursday.
“They also will provide facilities to support port tenants and local business needs.”
Port officials expect to finalize design and engineering early next year and complete the sewer line by the end of 2020.
The new lines will allow for the development — by either the port or private entities — of a 120-foot-by-100-foot corporate hangar building, two 65-foot-by-60-foot corporate/private hangar buildings and a 40-foot-by-250-foot private hangar building that will house nine T-hangars, which provide storage space for aircraft, Nutter said.
The airport does not have any large corporate hangers now, but there is strong demand from tenants such as Life Flight Network that want a hangar for response aircraft currently housed outside in the weather elements, he said.
“Having a large hangar available is also critical to recruiting commercial air service back to the airport after a five-year gap in service,” Nutter added.
Port officials have been working to acquire a commercial passenger air service since Kenmore Air stopped providing service to Seattle Tacoma International Airport via Boeing Field in November 2014.
The Community Aviation Revitalization Board was established this year to provide low-interest loans to rural airports to stimulate economic development. The Port of Port Angeles is among the first recipients of financial support from the program.
“A lot of rural airports in the state are struggling financially,” Nutter said. “Here we are lucky to have the port and the port’s financial backing behind the airport.”
Port Commission President Connie Beauvais said the loan will further port objectives.
“The new hangar development aligns with the port’s mission to bring people, resources and industry together to foster economic prosperity and living wage jobs in Clallam County,” Beauvais said in the release.
Karen Goschen, port executive director, said she appreciates the new state program.
“The Port is grateful that the Legislature enacted this program that targets economic development at smaller airports in Washington state,” she said.
“We look forward to working with CARB on additional economic development projects in the future.”