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Airport Board opens hangar bids

By JEFF BROWN - jbrown@shelbynews.com

Aero Management Group believes a corporate hangar will help grow the Shelbyville Municipal Airport.

At Friday’s Aviation Board meeting at the airfield, bids were opened for the construction of a new 12,000-square-foot hangar on property.

“We hope to break ground in the spring with completion before the snow falls,” said Ryan Maxfield, an owner of Aero Management Group and its director of business development. “One of the reasons that it is so important is because so many of the operators that want to fly, whether corporate or business in and out of this city, are currently handcuffed because if they get stuck in a weather situation, we don’t have any de-icing capabilities and we don’t have a heated hangar. This will allow this airport to compete with the likes of a Greenwood or Columbus or an Indy regional throughout the winter.”

Six complete bids were submitted for the hangar with three options for an 80-foot wide door that still needs to be selected for the project.

n Mattingly Corporation bid: $1,120,628 

n Ferguson Construction Company bid: $1,003,000

n MacDougall Pierce bid: $1,043,550

n Design & Build Corporation bid: $1,130,000

n Repp & Mundt Inc. bid: $1,240,016

n Runnebohm Construction bid: $960,000

The bids for the hangar doors ranged between $53,000 and $120,000, dependent on style, and will be added to the cost of the project once the door is determined.

The bid prices came in under what Maxfield expected.

“We look forward to giving our thoughts on it to the board of directors,” he said after the meeting. “In the end, whomever they choose, they are going to get a great building at a great price. And I stand behind that a corporate hangar is the No. 1 thing this airport can use to help its growth.”

The current hangars at Darrell F. Shrader Field, located at 3529 N 100 W in Shelbyville, can house 2-3 small airplanes, according to Maxfield. The proposed 100x120-foot hangar will easily double that capacity.

“It will be able to house over 80 percent of all the general aviation turbine and jet aircraft that are currently flying in this country,” said Maxfield. “Right now, the largest hangars we have on property would maybe only house two or three small airplanes. This hangar can hold up to five jets at once and a small airplane or two. We’re talking multiple times larger than what this airport has ever seen.”

Aero Management took over the day-to-day operations of the city-owned airport on Jan. 1, 2018. One goal is to increase the marketing efforts of the airport.

“You have to understand that certain businesses and individuals that use aviation as a tool for their business, this will help further support them,” explained Maxfield, who flew into the meeting Friday. “And this will help further support them and be more attractive to corporations in the future who think about basing out of the city of Shelbyville ... they know they have an air transportation solution. That’s an attractive piece to offer.”

Before the bids were opened city attorney, Jennifer Meltzer, the board elected new officers for 2019.

Board member Warren Good was elected president, replacing Elmer Brattain. Bob Foltz will continue his role as vice-president. Bill Hopkins was elected secretary and Dick Fero was chosen as treasurer.

The next Aviation Board meeting is slated for Feb. 1.