Sullivan County International Airport near White Lake is about to drastically expand thanks to the approval of an 18,000 square-foot hangar — the site’s largest yet.

District 7 Legislator Joe Perrello, who chairs the Legislature’s Public Works Committee, worked with Sullivan County International Airport Partners Ltd. out of New Windsor on a deal that sees the county bring in $365,000 for the land use and allows the developer to build a two-story airplane hangar on vacant land near the airport’s terminal building.

Details of the deal include a land lease of $9,000 per year, rising 2% annually thereafter for 30 years. The company will also pay $550 every month in maintenance fees and has the option to build two more hangars in the future, at 40,000- and 50,000-square-feet, respectively.

Sky is the Limit

The hangar’s construction will employ 12-18 full-time workers, with operations commencing with seven permanent employees, according to Jon Mende, CEO of Skyways, the operator who will lease the building from the developer when the project is complete. In the first year, that full-time employment number could reach up to 32 workers.

“Skyways will provide aircraft sales, maintenance, and hangar storage, with room for up to four jet aircraft in the initial hangar, which means we’ll collect further income from fuel purchases and landing fees,” said Legislature Chairman Rob Doherty. “The business will also create new jobs, not counting construction. I see this as a turning point for the airport, eventually transitioning it to a long-sought hub of commercial activity.”

“This deal finally delivers on years of promises to make our airport a hub of economic development, and it positions us to attract more such development in the future,” said Perrello. “Especially now, when COVID-19 has hit us so hard, we have to be tightly focused on bringing in badly needed revenue, and this lease does that. I thank my fellow legislators for their support and for sharing my vision for an airport that we can be proud of.”

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