"We want them to stay," Mr. George said, adding that the county is giving existing tenants free tie-down rents for their planes if they commit to leasing one of the new hangars. Construction is to begin May 1.
But many longtime tenants are moving on, looking for space elsewhere.
Thomas Reimer, of West Mifflin, plans to tear down his four hangars; one is free-standing, three are part of a T-hangar complex.
"I don't need the Allegheny County Airport," said Mr. Reimer, who said he had made a personal investment to the tune of $70,000.
"I will be gone. I will destroy four buildings," he said.
Mr. Lang said the county never looked at options that would have allowed facilities to expand on empty land instead of tearing down what is there.
"If you want to run this like a business, why don't you fix the things you have that are falling down," Mr. Lang said.
He thinks the county has an agenda that doesn't include people such as him.
"They don't want the little guys here," he said.
The changes coming to the airport in West Mifflin were designed to make the facility competitive with other regional airports.
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