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Airport Expansion Is Taking Off

Updated: Jan 3, 2020

HAYDEN — Unprecedented growth at the Coeur d’Alene Airport has prompted construction of a $15 million jet center to handle increased business and the need for more hangar space.

Hayden-based StanCraft Boat Co. is expanding from manufacturing watercraft to offering aviation services with construction of an 85,000-square-foot fixed base operation east of Empire Aerospace at Coeur d’Alene Airport-Pappy Boyington Field.

A ribbon-cutting this morning will include comments from Idaho Gov. Brad Little and Hayden Mayor Steve Griffitts. The event starts at 9 a.m. and will include tours of the facility, which is under construction.

Airport director Steven Kjergaard said the StanCraft Jet Center is the single largest private construction project to date at the airport and demonstrates an ongoing growth trend.

“It’s being developed in response to increased traffic at the airport and anytime you build a facility of this size you can expect to see new traffic as well,” Kjergaard said Wednesday.

A large-scale hangar has been lacking at the airport and is needed to handle an influx in corporate traffic, he added.

Kootenai County Commissioner Leslie Duncan said the project is indicative of the strong economy, not just nationally but locally.

“A flourishing economy leads to flourishing private enterprise,” Duncan said. “State and local leadership are instrumental in encouraging local businesses to follow their dreams with less regulation and a healthy commercial environment. I am excited to see this growth at our airport.”

In addition to the large new hangar, Kjergaard said airport officials are negotiating lease agreements with eight private firms interested in operating various businesses out of the airport. He declined to offer details because terms are still being discussed.

StanCraft Jet Center will offer jet refueling, conference rooms, waiting and pilot areas, and offices. The firm will also refit jet interiors in its new facility.

Increasingly popular with visitor and corporate traffic, the Coeur d’Alene Airport accommodates about 85,000 operations per year. Each take-off and landing constitutes two operations.

Construction of the StanCraft facility started in August and is expected to be complete next May.

Eric Hedlund Design of Coeur d’Alene is the architect and Young Construction Group of Idaho is the contractor.

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