Plans are in the works to build hangars and a commercial aviation building at Lawrence's airport.
Lawrence city commissioners aren't ready to give the OK to build T-hangars and a research-office building at the Lawrence Municipal Airport.
However, commissioners did ask the city staff Tuesday night to get more information about the two projects, whose sponsors hope to spur more aviation business at the airport.
One of the projects includes plans for 10 T-hangars at the airport to be leased. A T-hangar is a garage-style hangar for individual aircraft.
Greg Smith, chairman of the Lawrence Aviation Advisory Board, said rents on the hangars would pay for the $164,000 project within 15 years. Once the project is paid off, the city would reap about $260,000 in rent during the rest of the 30-year life of the hangars, he said.
Seven tenants already are lined up to rent the hangars, Smith said, and he told commissioners he could easily fill all 10 hangars if the project were approved.
At City Manager Mike Wildgen's suggestion, the commission voted to to have city staff study the matter further to find out what additional costs might be incurred for engineering and surveying.
Plans called for the T-hangars to cost $148,821 and taxi ways and ramps to cost $15,200. The proposed T-hangar project would required average rents of $160 per month.
For comparison, Billard Airport in Topeka has 80 T-hangars that rent for between $125 and $215 per month, depending on age and size.
The commission also directed staff to further study an idea proposed by Allan Stuber, a retired Naval officer and Lawrence pilot.
Stuber wants the city to lease to him a 140-by-120 plot for $1 a year to put a commercial building at the airport. It would include office and hangar space for him and rental offices and hangar space he would rent to aviation businesses.
He said a business that performs research and installs anti-icing systems to aircraft wants to move in, an airplane radio shop wants to lease an office, and an airplane sales business is also interested in leasing space.
At the suggestion of Commissioner John Nalbandian, city staff will get more details on the lease agreement and solicit comments from two other businesses leasing space from the city at the airport. Those businesses, Great Plains and Don's Diesel, are paying much higher leases to the city.