KSNL Aero project pulled from committee agenda
The Airport Advisory Board called a special meeting Wednesday evening to discuss a Capital Development proposal, and also to go into executive session about a pending investigation, claim or action, according to the agenda released last week. In the end, no action was taken for either item, as the proposal was pulled from the agenda Wednesday afternoon, and no discussion or motion was offered after executive session.
Regarding the Capital Development proposal, Shawnee City Attorney Joe Vorndran said, “upon discussion with counsel for KSNL Aero, there's been an agreement to pull the item and reset to a future meeting.”
Vorndran said he suspects the proposal will likely be on the next meeting's agenda in a few weeks.
“March 17 is what was discussed (Wednesday afternoon),” he said.
KSNL Owner Darrin Lofton did not attend Wednesday night's meeting.
KSNL Aero's large expansion project — if approved — would not only change the look of the airport campus, but add new amenities, like restaurants.
The business plans to construct:
• a 40,000 square foot hangar-type facility
• two small hangar-type facilities
• five small hangar-type facilities
• a two-story restaurant/office structure
• a restaurant food-court structure
• a rental car facility
• an employee parking lot
Aeronautical Activity has priority in all on-airport leasing projects.
“Keeping this in mind, we have picked some of the areas of the airport that have little or no priority for aviation use,” Lofton said. “The areas that we are proposing to build two aviation-themed restaurants are located in areas of the airport that would have no access to the airport ramps or runway, thereby giving priority to other areas of the airport which are more suitable for building structures for Aeronautical Activities and, at the same, time bringing revenue to the City of Shawnee from these currently non-leased areas.”
The proposed employee parking lot is separated from the ramp and runway areas by a large drainage ditch, he said.
“The area where we are proposing a rental car facility has been historically blocked by the rental car companies needing space to park their vehicles, and the addition of a car wash facility in this area for the rental car companies will keep the ramp areas meant for aeronautical use free from rental car traffic as well,” he said.
Once the proposal is approved, Lofton said he can move forward with planning schedules.
“A preliminary estimate of two years from start to completion is our current thought with no obstruction to daily airport activities,” he said. “However, due to the current shortage of iron materials from the manufacturers because of COVID shutdowns across the United States we may need to make some adjustments to our completion dates.”
KSNL Aero is asking for separate 40-year lease agreements on each of the leased areas.
“As our preliminary plans show we intend on utilizing at least 90 percent of each area leased,” the agenda memo reads.
At this point KSNL Aero owns 13 Cessna Caravan 2088 Aircraft with PT6-114A and the market analysis for its fleet engine overhauls alone would require at least five additional employees, Lofton said.
“We have added overhaul capability to our repair station license and have begun the process of tooling up for overhauling our own fleet of aircraft,” he said.
The rental car facility is a needed addition to the airport, he said, and several companies appear very interested in leasing this facility.
“We need to have parking for the facilities and thus the reason for the employee parking lot, which could also be utilized in the future as longterm/short-term parking,” Lofton said.
He said the two restaurants would bring aeronautical business to the airport, and OBU, Gordon Cooper and the hospital are excited about the additions for their employees to have a place to go close to their work or campus.
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