Jetport hangars complete and full
by JOYANNA LOVE Banner Senior Staff Writer
Dec 29, 2013 | 1381 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CHECKING THE OIL on his Cirrus plane is Jack Byrd. Byrd recently moved his aircraft from Hardwick Field to the Cleveland Regional Jetport. Banner photo, JOYANNA LOVE
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Hangars filled up fast for recreational pilots at the new Cleveland Regional Jetport.

Despite being designed to hold twice the number of private recreational planes than had been housed at Hardwick Field, the hangars are full, according to new Cleveland Regional Jetport director of operations Mark Fidler.

Hardwick Field had 10 T-hangars.

“They were actually all spoken for many, many months ago. We actually have a waiting list of people who would like us to build more of them, so they can bring their airplanes here and move in,” Fidler said.

Fidler said there is a waiting list of about 10 pilots wanting to rent one of the T-shaped hangars.

He said it was good to see all the local planes coming to one airport.

“It’s kind of like bringing everybody home to their new home now,” Fidler said. “ I look forward to getting to know the people who are moving in and establishing relationships with those people.”

Two buildings newly constructed at the jetport hold 10 planes each.

“The people who are over at the old airport Hardwick Field now have a place to move,” Fidler said.

Hardwick Field will be officially closed on Dec. 31.

The majority of the pilots leasing the new hangars are from Bradley County. A few are from Athens or Georgia. Most of the pilots from Hardwick Field have moved to the new location. Fidler said some of the pilots who have stopped flying no longer needed a place for their planes.

“It’s an exciting time for us,” Fidler said.

Additional T-hangars are in the long-range plan for the jetport. Private hangars for local business or ministries have been constructed near the T-hangars.

The Jones Airways hangar, located closer to the terminal building, is also nearing completion.

For these hangars, the city has leased the property and they have constructed the hangars.

Jetport operations have been busy since the airport’s opening earlier this year. While the number of takeoffs and landings fluctuate, Fidler said there is air traffic daily.

The holiday season has brought a slight slump to usage of the airport. Before the holidays, the jetport was seeing a number of business flights. Fidler said planes fly in from all over the United States.

Fidler said revenue from fuel sales — both jet fuel and recreational plane fuel — have exceeded expectations.

Next on the enhancement schedule for the Cleveland Regional Jetport is extending the runway by 500 feet.

Work on this project will begin in the summer.

“It’s to serve the major corporations we have here in Cleveland … that are flying larger corporate jets,” Fidler said.

The additional runway length will give these larger jets more room for taking off and landing.

Other future projects include installing approach lighting and updating a taxiway to meet new aviation regulations.