SARA likely to build USDA hangar

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 13, 2017

South Alabama Regional Airport will soon let bids for construction of a new hangar at the airport.

The hangar will be built to house a H120 helicopter for the United States Department of Agriculture. The aircraft is brand new from Airbus and will be maintained by Vector Aerospace.

Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood estimates – on the high end – the hangar would cost $192,000 to build.

It is expected to be built near the Don Bullard and Jimmy Pate hangars at the airport, which are similar in size at 50 by 50.

No geotech has been performed on the site.

SARA Co-Director Jed Blackwell said he hopes to get the costs down to around $180,000.

“The USDA’s helicopter will be ready by February,” he said. “We are looking at an April/May timeframe.”

Blackwell said airport officials are currently looking at funding for the construction.

Options include going through PowerSouth using a revolving loan fund for 10 years, or through Covington Rural Services for 3 percent interest over 10 years.

Blackwell said that USDA is willing to sign up to a 20-year lease.

The board agreed to bid the project before determining a lease price for USDA.

It was agreed that USDA’s lease payment should offset construction costs.