As Ardmore Industrial Air Park continues to grow, one key factor in this growth is the availability of storage space for aircraft. Hangar space is limited all across the region, so during their August meeting the Ardmore Development Authority voted to solicit bids for five new box hangars and 10 to 12 T-hangars at  the airport.
Mita Bates, CEO of the Ardmore Development Authority, said the new hangars are a portion of the five-year plan in place to facilitate further growth of the entire complex.
“In general, aviation fixed base aircraft are very important to us even though we’re also doing commercial and industrial development,” Bates said. “General aviation for planes is so important to us and we want to continue to grow our base.”
Bates said the number of planes housed at the air park is one portion of the formula the FAA uses for grants and funding. Therefore, more planes help get more funding. In addition to more funding opportunities, Bates pointed out how limited hangar space is in the area.
“Right now there is no space available at the downtown airport,” Bates said. “So as the flying public grows we’ll have the opportunity to be able to accommodate their aircraft. We’ll also be able to attract people from the other surrounding communities.”
Bates said the new hangars will be built near existing taxiways to help cut cost. The hangars themselves will come basically preassembled so all that will need to be done is pouring slabs for their foundation.
Bates also noted the ADA has recently received grant funding for a new taxiway project. The current airport layout has two runways, one long, and one short. When larger planes arrive or depart, they have to back-taxi down the longer runway to get to or from the hangar — causing unnecessary congestion.
The new funds, which will be available in October, will allow the air park to build a shorter runway parallel to the long and eliminate the need for aircraft to back-taxi.
“When this is complete, it’s going to be a game changer for future growth,” Bates said.