Companies get green light for Gabreski airport renovations
Two companies have the green light for projects at Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach to modernize the facility and bring in millions of dollars in investment, according to lawmakers and Suffolk County officials.
The Suffolk legislature recently approved two contracts which county officials say follow through on the airport’s master land use plan for aviation development at the airport.
One deal is with True North, a Westhampton Beach-based company, which will see them develop 10 individual hangars for small planes on three acres of airport land. The second is a 30-year lease agreement with Sunrise Jets Maintenance LLC, an aircraft management and charter operator in Westhampton Beach. The agreement allows the company to use approximately 14 acres at the airport to construct a building for fixed base operations, typically a private company providing aviation services at an airport.
The Sunrise Jets project will also include the construction of aircraft ramp space, hangars and a fuel farm, according to a Suffolk County spokesperson.
Joshua Smith, the director of Gabreski Airport, told the legislature at its March 29 meeting – where lawmakers approved the deals – that the Sunrise Jets deal, in particular, represented a total investment of between 25 and $30 million in the airport.
The extra ramp space, Smith said, would be “a benefit to the airport and the community as we’ve filled the ramp in recent years due to increased usage.”
Suffolk County awarded Sunrise Jets a contract in 2015 for its current project. The case was locked in litigation for several years after a company that also submitted a proposal was rejected and sued the county. The litigation was later dropped in 2019, allowing the project to move forward, Smith told the legislature.
Meanwhile, the True North hangar development will consist of two buildings of five hangars each that will be located between two existing hangars on the north side of the airport property, according to a county spokesperson.
Representatives for Sunrise Jets and True North did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Suffolk County Legislation. Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac) told Newsday that both projects have already been reviewed by several airport-related committees, including the Airport Conservation and Assessment Committee, for environmental reasons and impacts. on traffic. After “detailed reports” that both candidates submitted, Fleming said the committees determined that neither project would cause a significant impact on traffic or have adverse environmental consequences.
“The question I think everyone wants to know is ‘Will this increase traffic? Will it increase the noise? and that’s something that’s been carefully considered by these various regulators,” Fleming said, adding that the two projects would ultimately “modernize the airport, create new full-time jobs and at the same time, you don’t ‘re not going to see a significant increase in air traffic.
With the agreements now approved, the next step is coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Suffolk County Buildings Department for building permits and safety plans, according to a county spokesperson, with site work possibly start by the end of the year.
Modernization of Gabreski Airport
True North will construct 10 hangars in two buildings, each housing five units. The square footage of the two buildings is 16,000 square feet and 12,740 square feet and there will be five 3,200 square foot and five 2,500 square foot units, according to a Suffolk County spokesperson.
The Sunrise Jets project will involve the construction of two large hangars of 35,200 square feet each, a 5,040 square foot Fixed Base Operations (FBO) office building, 278,000 square feet of aircraft ramp space and a fuel farm on approximately 14 acres of property at the airport.