BERKELEY – With the steel framework substantially completed, a new eight-unit t-hangar building at the Ocean County Airport, here, should be ready to house planes by late summer.
“This new t-hangar will be of no cost to the county and will answer a growing need at this facility,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, who serves as liaison to the airport located at the Robert J. Miller Airpark, off Route 530. “It will help us reduce the current waiting list allowing more pilots to store their planes at the airport.”
Vicari noted the new hangar is expected to be completed in late August and following the final inspection will be ready to house planes.
“This is just a part of ongoing upgrades to the facility,” Vicari said.
In addition, improvements to the main runway’s lighting system recently were completed.
“The lighting improvements for the main runway will improve safety for pilots coming into and leaving the airport,” Vicari said. “Whether it’s for public safety or to help our economic efforts, the Ocean County Airport is an important facility providing an integral service in Ocean County.”
Vicari noted the new runway lighting system replaced a system that was more than 20 years old and had been scheduled for replacement.
“We applied for federal funding for 90 percent of the cost of the replacement project and for state funding for five percent of the total cost,” Vicari said.
The project cost was about $810,00 and the design work, funded also by federal and state grants was completed earlier this month.
“This airpark is an important element of the county’s transportation program,” said Vicari. “It’s essential the facilities be kept current and at up-to-date standards.”
Ocean Aircraft Storage, a partner with the county’s fixed based operator, Ocean Aire, is expected to operate the new t-hangar which will consist of a eight unit building located adjacent to the existing t-hangar buildings.
“The county developed a land lease with Ocean Aircraft Storage that will allow for the construction of the new t-hangar building,” Vicari said. “Ocean Aircraft Storage is constructing the t-hangar building at its own cost and expense.”
A lease agreement for the t-hangar construction has been signed with Ocean Aircraft Storage. Under the agreement, the lease will be for a 10-year term with an option of two additional 10-year terms. In addition, the County will receive annually 15 percent of the gross revenue or $5,000, whichever is higher.
“We are working in partnership with the fixed base operator to minimize any cost to the County,” Vicari said. “Ocean Aircraft Storage is paying for the construction and we will derive a revenue as a result of this new building.”
The County has four t-hangar buildings consisting of 36 individual units currently located at the airport.
Vicari added the new hangar is consistent with the Airport Capital Improvement Program and the Pinelands Memorandum of Agreement.
“These hangars are important to the airport,” Vicari said. “Many visitors to the County own second homes here and are looking for a place to keep their private planes.
“This helps with our tourism efforts,” Vicari said.
Vicari added the airport, located on 420 acres in Berkeley Township about five miles west of Toms River, provides a central location for a host of public safety services.
The precision approach facility features a 6,000-foot runway, a crosswind runway, and accommodates various aircraft, including private airplanes, small corporate jets, the state Forest Fire Service planes, the Civil Air Patrol and Emergency Services aircraft.
Since 1990, Ocean County has received more than $23 million in federal and state funding for airport improvements.