OLEAN – For years, the Cattaraugus County Olean Airport has had a waiting list for hangar space. That list, sometimes dozens of planes long, will be alleviated with the announcement of funding streams from the state and federal governments.
The airport is in line for funding to build T-hangars at the airport, located on a hilltop near Ischua. In the latest round of grants from the state Department of Transportation, the city will receive $630,000 for the hangar project, to include a taxiway. The city will add $70,000 in matching funds for the project.
Once the project is completed, it will total nearly $1.4 million, with additional funding coming from a Federal Aviation Administration grant. That one may be the linchpin to the process, said Tom Windus, city director of public works.
“We have been told that, because of sequester, the funding from FAA on these kinds of things has pretty much come to a halt,” he said. “This is a facility that has been on our projects list for quite some time, always being pushed for funding. As soon as we have that in place we can move forward.
“I can assure you, this hangar will be full,” Windus said.
The new facility will house 10 aircraft in a side-by-side, nose-to-tail fashion. An existing 10-plane hangar is adjacent to the main ramp, and there is a larger hangar capable of housing 18 aircraft.
The Cattaraugus County Olean Airport is capable of handling 28- to 30-passenger jets, Windus said. Although the activity levels depend on the time of year and the weather, he said the facility sees daily activity.
“I have been up there when a family of four flew in on their plane to go to Ellicottville to ski at Holiday Valley,” he said.
“Those are the people we need to bring into the county, and that is one of the best reasons we need to have this new hangar and the facility as a whole.”
Not only do private family aircraft fly in and out, but several local industry-owned aircraft use the facility often, Windus said.
Once the funding has been secured and construction starts on the hangar, Windus said he expects it to take no more than four months to complete.
Zoladz Construction Co. of Alden will be the contractor completing the project.