HIA Approves Lease for new General Aviation Facility
(Middletown, PA – February 24, 2016) The Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority (SARAA) board voted to approve a lease agreement for Avflight to construct a new FBO (Fixed base operator) office and hangar at Harrisburg International Airport (HIA). The new 5,000 square foot office space and 30,000 square foot hangar will be located next to the snow equipment building on the property where the former terminal was located. Phase 1 of the project, the construction of the office space, will begin this year, pending permit approvals. Phase 2 and the construction of the new hanger will take place in the next few years.
“We are pleased Avflight has decided to expand and grow their operation at HIA,” said Stephen Libhart, SARAA Board Chairman. “Avflight has been a long time tenant and we look forward to continuing that relationship. This new, modern FBO facility will position Avflight and HIA for future growth in the corporate and general aviation industries.”
In addition to general aviation services, Avflight also provides ground handling for Allegiant and Air Canada at HIA.
The airport authority board also approved the renewal of two existing Sunoco easements for natural gas pipelines on HIA property. The easements are for a term of 30 years and will generate $133,500 in revenue for the airport. The existing easements have been in place for approximately 75 years, dating back to when the property was an active duty military installation.
Legislative Priorities Adopted
The SARAA board voted to adopt several aviation related legislative priorities for 2016 at the board meeting including:
- Supporting the PA Senate Aviation Caucus to urge the US Congress to increase the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) cap to $8.50 and adjust it periodically to offset impact of inflation.
- The continuation of the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and support of Congressman Lou Barletta’s amendment which would increase AIP funding and insure those funds are not diverted for FAA operations.
- Support of the FAA Contract Tower Program and for the US Congress to provide full and dedicated funding.
- Support of a proposal by the Regional Airline Association to address the anticipated pilot shortage.
- Support proposed legislation to expand gaming in PA to include limited access at PA airports.
- Support legislative action by the PA General Assembly that requires Transportation Network Companies to be subject to the rules, rates and charges of any commercial service airport they wish to serve.
Over 77 thousand passengers served in January
The 30.2” of snow that fell at HIA in January and caused airlines to cancel the majority of flights for two days, lead to a decrease in overall passengers using the facility. The 77,191 passengers represent a 16.6 percent decrease when compared to January 2015. Cargo tonnage was down slightly with 3,992 tons, compared to 4,113 tons in January 2015.
“The major snow storm hurt our numbers in January and cost the airport around $250,000 when factoring in supplies and overtime hours,” said Tim Edwards, SARAA Executive Director. He went on to share that HIA recently launched new service to Punta Gorda, Florida on Allegiant. “This twice per week flight to southwest Florida is a welcome addition to the other destinations Allegiant services from HIA – Orlando and St. Petersburg.”
The next SARAA Board meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 30, 2016, at 8:00 am, in the David C. McIntosh Boardroom, located on the third floor of the HIA terminal building.
About Harrisburg International Airport:
Five airlines serve Harrisburg International Airport (HIA) offering nearly 70 flights daily to 11 non-stop destinations. The Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority (SARAA) owns HIA, Capital City Airport in New Cumberland and both Franklin County and Gettysburg Regional Airports. Incorporated in 1997, SARAA is a multi-municipal authority whose mission is to serve the region by providing high quality, efficient airports and promoting regional economic development. Combined these four facilities handle about 90,000 aircraft operations and generate a total economic output of more than $990 million annually.