WINCHESTER — On Friday afternoon, a Gulfstream G550 with a 94-foot wingspan, owned by Perpetual Air LLC, arrived at Winchester Regional Airport's large corporate hangar at 509 Airport Road in Frederick County.
The multi-million aircraft is the largest to ever be based at the airport.
“We are very excited about this,” said Nick Sabo, the airport's executive director. “We’ve done a lot of work at the airport addressing the personal property tax [and] acquiring this hangar. We really put ourselves out there in a bigger way and it’s bearing fruit now."
Sabo said it would not have been possible to attract the aircraft if the county's Board of Supervisors didn't recently lower the aircraft tax from 50 cents per $100 of assessed value to 1 cent per $100 of assessed value.
“Someone that operates an airplane that size is going to want to save money where they can,” Sabo said.
The airport charges by the foot for hangar space. Hangar leases are done on a month-to-month basis.
“All of the things we have done here in the last 18-24 months have culminated in this airplane," Sabo said. “This is what we are hoping to achieve. This group has another airplane based in Dulles. And that proves that marketing message that we thought we’d be able to pull some airplanes from bigger airports into the region.”