Airport Authority to Buy Hangar From Philly Firm

The Westmoreland County Airport Authority has agreed to pay $210,000 to take over the only empty hangar at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.

The state police had been using the 6,400-square-foot hangar to store aircraft until about a year ago.

Having outgrown the facility, the state police moved the equipment to a 9,850-square-foot hangar located in another section of the Unity Township airport's grounds.

Authority Executive Director Gene Lakin said the authority has qualified for a loan with a 4 percent interest rate to purchase the hangar.

Negotiations with the Girard Estate, a Philadelphia investment and real estate group, went on for months before the authority was satisfied with the price for the hangar, Lakin said. Board members authorized the purchase during a meeting Tuesday.

With easy access for both aircraft and automobiles, the building is a good addition to a growing number of rental hangars at Arnold Palmer airport," Lakin said. "It's in a key location on the field.

The old state police hangar is the only empty hangar on Arnold Palmer's grounds, said authority spokesman Dwayne Pickels. It should be able to fetch at least $2,500 in rental fees each month, more than enough to cover the authority's projected $2,100 payments on the building, he added.

Hangar rentals help to offset costs in the authority's $1.9 million operating budget for its airports in Unity and Rostraver townships, $870,000 of which comes from county tax dollars. Pickels said the authority is trying to hold the line on the county allocation.

A project is under way to build four large hangars and 12 T-hangars at Arnold Palmer airport to add to the 20 hangars and 36 T-hangars already on site.

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