One of Republic Airport’s most prominent tenants is expanding its footprint, with plans to break ground late this year on a 210,000-square-foot hangar.
Sheltair Aviation, an aviation development company with locations at 22 airports in Florida, Georgia and New York, said it has chosen BDG Construction and AECOM to design and build the $55 million hangar.
Sheltair is one of three fixed-base operators at Republic in East Farmingdale, providing fueling services and hangar space for private planes.
Requests for hangar space have surged since state lawmakers approved tax exemptions for sales and use of general aviation aircraft, said Todd Anderson, Sheltair’s vice president for real estate and development.
New Yorkers would often buy and base their planes in surrounding states because it was less expensive, he said.
“What we’re seeing now is a big spike in the number of inquiries for people looking for hangar space, but more importantly, it’s really done . . . an excellent job in terms of leveling the playing field between New York and other bordering states,” Anderson said.
According to the New York Aviation Management Association, a lobbying group, sales and use taxes were a serious financial barrier to keeping private planes in New York, “because most other surrounding states do not charge sales taxes or have more favorable tax treatment for such aircraft sales and basings.”
The planned hangar, considerably larger than Sheltair’s current 66,000-square-foot space, is needed to accommodate corporate jets “whose fuel-efficient designs and overall size require higher and wider facilities,” the company said in a statement.
The facility will feature a new terminal for the company’s fixed-base operation, as well as 42,000 square feet of office and shop space, said Karen Kroeppel, director of sales and marketing for Sheltair.
The company also has locations at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma and Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach.
From private general aviation planes to corporate jets, “not only do they need a place to land and get fuel and services when they’re out, but they need a place to stay,” Kroeppel said.