Wednesday, April 11, 2012
The Elton Hensley Memorial Airport may soon see more traffic thanks to a plan approved by the Fulton City Council Tuesday night.
After swearing in newly-elected council members Lindsey Pace, Steve Moore, Mike West and Mary Rehklau, the council heard a presentation by developer Bob Moreland.
Moreland is a retired airline pilot who now builds high-end airplane hangars — which he proposes to do in Fulton.
He explained that most airport hangars consist of plain steel structures that offer very little in the way of protection from the weather for the aircraft housed in them, resulting in increased maintenance costs and deterioration of the hangars themselves over time as well as the planes themselves.
“Aircraft owners have always hated them,” Moreland said, noting he was motivated to do something different when he retired and was looking for someplace “secure and safe” to keep his own plane.
The hangars he builds are constructed along different lines with thick, insulated walls and floors heated by solar collectors mounted on the roof, pilot lounges and customizable options for features such as lofts and office space.
“I know what aircraft owners like and want. These are bright and clean — a place that will keep your airplane safe for years and years,” Moreland said. “We can design these things to please the pilots — they can be as fancy or as simple as they want.”
Moreland has built a number of these hangars in Illinois and now, after partnering with Horton Homes, he is looking to expand. He said he believes Fulton would be a good spot to build and promote his hangars.
“Fulton has a beautiful little airport, I was so excited when I saw it,” Moreland said, noting he has had no problems selling hangar space at any of his other locations. “Before we got started (building the first one) nine guys wanted in, then 12 wanted in, then another eight.
“This would attract new aircraft to your airport and could bring a lot of money into the community.”