WINCHESTER — The Winchester Regional Airport Authority announced Monday that it has secured financing to purchase a $1.25 million hangar facility from Wells Fargo.
The financing was secured through the Virginia Airports Revolving Fund, which is managed by the Virginia Resources Authority and partners with the Virginia Aviation Board (VAB) to prioritize loan requests. The loan, which totaled $1.55 million, was approved during a Friday business meeting of the VAB.
The facility, located at 509 Airport Road, contains approximately 27,000 square feet of hangar space and more than 4,000 square feet of attached offices. The hangar is capable of storing the largest aircraft that operate from the Winchester Regional Airport’s 5,500 foot runway, and can accommodate a variety of aeronautical business uses. The Winchester Regional Airport Authority anticipates closing on the loan Sept. 12.
For years, the airport leased the land on which the hangar sits to ProJet Aviation, an aircraft management and charter company now based in Leesburg. ProJet built the hangar and offices in 2007 for about $3.5 million.
ProJet Aviation CEO and founder Shye Gilad told The Star in 2016 that the company originally wanted to grow its business in the Winchester area, but that proved difficult, especially after the recession.
ProJet moved to Leesburg in 2010 and continued to sublease the hangar to various aviation businesses for a few years.
Wells Fargo Bank purchased the hangar and office space in December of 2017, Sabo said.
“This is an excellent opportunity for the airport and we are grateful to our local government partners for supporting this effort,” said Executive Director Nick Sabo in a Monday news release. “When considered along with the airport’s competitive personal property tax rate for aircraft, contract fuel availability, and convenient access by air and ground, these hangars enhance our ability to meet the needs of aviation users and make it easy to choose the Winchester Regional Airport.”
Sabo said on Monday that after the deal closes September, the airport will start a marketing effort to see what airport users it can attract. He previously told The Star the hangar has the ability to accommodate large business aircraft and could hold up to 12 small- or medium-sized airplanes.
While $1.25 million of the loan will be spent on purchasing the hangar, the additional $300,000 will be used for new equipment, minor airport improvements and operating costs.