Airport Commission supports innovative hangar style complex proposal

GORDON—Gore Bay-Manitoulin Airport Commission members are excited about a proposal that may lead to a new innovative carousel style hangar complex and manufacturing facility located at their airport.

The concept was presented at a recent meeting by one of the two enterprising individuals who have a wealth of aviation, marketing, business and technical experience and will endeavour to make the project successful.

The proposed hangar development will feature a concept in hangar design that is revolutionary and will precedent an entirely new method of housing aircraft at airports. The large prototype hangar will measure 68’ x 168’ (11,424 square-feet) and will be used as a demonstration hangar to showcase this unique design to potential customers and a broad market.

The new hangar will house eight aircraft in a community hangar layout but eliminates the need to move several aircraft to get planes in and out of the hangar because of the revolving floor. The hangar will be divided into two main sections; each with a carousel that will park four aircraft. Each turntable will be serviced by a large door and all you have to do is push a button to index each aircraft to the door. The advantages to this design is that one door can serve several aircraft and an overall smaller floor space is needed, both lending to a cost savings.

Co-located with the demo hangar will be a manufacturing plant to build the carousels in kit form for distribution to other sites. This building measuring 50’ x 70’ (3,500 square-foot) will house all the equipment necessary to manufacture the carousels. Once full production is realized it is expected that 4-5 employees will be needed, and perhaps even more if demand dictates.

“We see this as a win-win for the airport,” stated Lee Hayden, chairman of the airport commission following a recent meeting where the proposed project was introduced. The proponents will front the financial share not covered by government funding programs and the airport will have to pay this back over time. The hangar will belong to the airport and will generate additional revenues.

Airport manager Robby Colwell said. “We are in need of more hangars and this unique development will be another feature that will add to our service profile and further diversify our revenue stream. It will attract more customers to the airport, support tourism and label our airport as leader in innovative hangar technology. We are very fortunate that our airport was chosen for this project.”

The success of this project is dependent on support from Fednor and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC). It has been recommended that the hangar project be combined with the terminal building project and submitted as one application to bring strength to the overall funding application process.