Rifle Garfield County Airport paves way for new commercial hangar
Garfield County has agreed to a land lease with fixed base operator Atlantic Aviation for space at the Rifle Garfield County Airport to allow for the construction of an approximately 30,000-square-foot new facility, the county announced earlier this month.
The plans include a new 50-foot-by-150-foot apron, a 7,500-square-foot private parking area and a new hangar on the main flight line, all of which is slated for completion in summer 2024, according to a July 9 news release.
The new commercial lease is separate from the existing fixed-based operator (FBO) lease and is in place for between 43 and 50 years. The 2021 lease rate for the land is $14,548, with an annual escalation clause included in each subsequent year, the release states. An escalation clause means Atlantic Aviation will offer a higher price for the lease than any future offers made by prospective lessees.
“We are starting to see some growth, even in the offseason,” said Jenna Porter, Atlantic’s general manager at the airport. “We have international business coming back this summer. That’s an exciting thing for Rifle to see. We’re on the map again.”
Atlantic also paid the county a nonrefundable development fee of $376,482 to move a planned concrete pad to another location so it could build its new hangar on the planned spot, according to the release.
Those funds go into the airport’s capital improvement fund, according to Rifle Garfield County Airport Director Brian Condie.
“We looked at the extra cost of moving that pad to the north,” Condie told the Board of County Commissioners. “That came to $376,482, and we agreed to move the pad to the new location conditioned on Atlantic agreeing to pay the extra cost, and they said yes.”
The lease was approved unanimously by the commissioners, 3-0.
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