The T-hangars at the Shuswap Regional Airport in Salmon Arm, along with the terminal building, are the only buildings the City of Salmon Arm owns at the airport. (Contributed)

The T-hangars at the Shuswap Regional Airport in Salmon Arm, along with the terminal building, are the only buildings the City of Salmon Arm owns at the airport. (Contributed)

City politician says parking planes in Salmon Arm cheaper than mooring boats

Council agrees to amount for three-year lease of hangars at Shuswap Regional Airport

It’s cheaper to store an airplane in a hangar at the Shuswap Regional Airport in Salmon Arm than it is to moor a boat at a marina.

One city councillor pointed this out during discussions of lease agreements at council’s Dec. 13 meeting.

Council voted unanimously to a three-year lease agreement for four hangars from Jan. 1, 2022 to Dec. 31, 2024 that includes an annual increase for 2023 and 2024 equivalent to the BC Consumer Price Index.

City staff explained that in 2013, a full appraisal was conducted at the request of council that showed hangar fees were significantly below market value.

From 2013 to 2018, the fees were increased to accurately reflect market value. Since 2018, the rates were increased by about two per cent per year.

One hangar, at 1,450 square metres, will cost $4,199 per year under the three-year agreement. A smaller hangar at 458 square metres will cost $1,645 each year.

Coun. Kevin Flynn thanked staff for their work and made the comparison to mooring a boat.

“I’m not sure I agree with the conclusion but I wasn’t involved. I will mention that it appears for a whole-year rental, or lease, you can park a plane for less money than it costs for five months of moorage at most marinas.

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He said he struggles with the rates but has no reason to question staff.

“I was one of the ones that asked (for a review); it just does seem hard to believe that it costs just over 100 dollars a month to be able to park an airplane when it costs way more than that to park a boat.”

Coun. Sylvia Lindgren asked how many hangars the city has.

“The city doesn’t own any hangars at the airport other than T-hangars,” said Rob Niewenhuizen, city director of engineering and public works. “All of the buildings on the airport site are leased or rented. These ones are coming due, but the city doesn’t own any buildings at the airport other than the terminal building and the T-hangars.”

The ‘T’ refers to hangars with their hanger bays laid out in ‘T’ shapes which fit together like an interlocking puzzle with planes parked nose to tail.

Niewenhuizen said it’s hoped more hangar locations can be opened up in 2022.

Coun. Chad Eliason, the city’s representative on the airport committee, said the committee has asked the airport manager to be aware of whether people are storing or using their hangar spaces for anything other than airplanes.

“I know that was a concern for others as well, so we’re working through it and thanks to staff for your work on this.”



martha.wickett@saobserver.net
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