Boat Builder Blasting Off

Updated: Jan 3, 2020

Staff Writer: Brian Walker - June 10, 2019 at 5:00 am

Thain Snyder buffs a wooden boat being manufactured at StanCraft in Hayden on Thursday. (BRAIN WALKER/Press)

HAYDEN — The four-generation StanCraft company, which carved a niche by manufacturing wooden boats, plans to build a $15 million jet center at the Coeur d'Alene Airport that will update aircraft, serve as a fueling station and create about 50 jobs.

StanCraft President Robb Bloem, who owns the StanCraft ventures with his wife, Amy, said construction on the 85,000-square-foot jet center at the northern end of the airport near Atlas and Lancaster roads is expected to start in August. It should be completed this time next year.

"It will be the single largest investment the airport has ever seen except for the runways themselves," Bloem said. "We envision this sparking a lot of development around the airport."

The structure will include two hangars in addition to a fueling center.

Last month, StanCraft purchased Southfield Aviation, one of two fuel operators at the airport, to set the stage for its future jet center. It has also inked land leases totaling $135,000 with Kootenai County, which owns the airport.

"Southfield was a great business to buy that got us on the field, practice the FBO (fixed-base operator/fuel) side and have management in place before we open," Bloem said.

The existing 4,800-square-foot building formerly occupied by Southfield will be maintained and used for maintenance after the new center is built, he said.

Dovetailing on StanCraft's plans at the same airport location is another aerospace-related project being organized by Panhandle Area Council, a Hayden-based nonprofit that spurs on economic development throughout North Idaho.