According to DuPage Airport deputy director Mark Doles, the airport has added 180,000 square feet of hangar space since 1998. Some 150,000 square feet of that was constructed by the Airport Authority in its proactive effort to develop the West Chicago facility.
"We have such an investment involved with the infrastructure," Doles says, "if there’s a way that the airport authority can generate revenues from providing the structures, obviously we’re going to look at that." He adds that in regard to the Chicagoland marketplace, the airport is always competing with other reliever airports for tenants. "And, once you have a tenant, you need to try to retain that tenant."
Before T-Bird Aviation approached DPA officials, the footprint was already laid to construct a two-bay hangar for transient traffic at the airport. However, T-Bird was able to work directly with the Airport Authority and the builders to come up with the design and requirements of the office space.
The airport authority invested some $2.8 million in the construction of the two hangars and an additional $1 million in the construction of the office space.
This project leads the development of the west side of the airport. As conditions dictate, the possibility exists for two additional bays to be added to this hangar. Doles also says the Airport Authority is in negotiations with a Part 91 operator for a 30,000-square foot building with associated office space.
"We’re actively pursuing and continuing to develop the airport," Doles says. "We’ve had a dramatic demand and a large influx of customers over the past five years."
California Building Systems in Palm Desert will build four aircraft hangars, totaling 350,000 square feet and $ 60 million.