April 18, 2013

Airport hangar space available

The Los Banos Municipal Airport has hangar space available.

The Los Banos Municipal Airport has hangar space available.

Twenty-three of the 31 hangars are occupied.

"Since I've been here, we've never had all the hangars full," said Paul Cardoza, parks and recreation operations manager. "The last four years during these tough (economic) times we haven't (had) an increase in rentals."

Cardoza said when the weather gets warmer the Los Banos Municipal Airport starts to see more activity. For instance, he said, fuel sales dipped in December but have recently picked up to normal levels.

Some of the hangars are owned by private individuals. Most of those hangars will become the city's property once the land lease expires.

A few years ago the price of hangar rentals was increased. Most people are paying between $250 and $325 per month for hangar space.

Cardoza said the city is in pretty good shape with its hangar rentals but it's mostly dictated by the economy.

The Los Banos Municipal Airport, in the next two years, is planned for a facelift. An overlay is scheduled for 2015.

It will take two days to repave the 125-acre facility at a cost of $1.6 million. If the Federal Aviation Administration continues to offer grants for such projects, Los Banos will only be responsible for a 10 percent match totaling $160,000.

In March Public Works Director Mark Fachin said he sees having matching funds as likely due to the airport's improving finances.

"If you look at what's happened through the years, the airport enterprise funds have gone from deficits to bringing in revenue," Fachin said.

As of April 5 the airport had spent $357,754 of its $540,609 budgeted for the fiscal year.

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