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Brandon Vandermyde-Commercial Real Estate Specialist

Shouldn’t we wait for the economy to improve before we build the St. George Airport?

Airport Progress Briefing

On July 8, 2009 representatives from the St. George City gave a briefing of the progress of the St. George Utah airport. City Manager Gary Esplin discussed how frequently he hears the question “shouldn’t we wait for the economy to improve before we build the St. George Airport?”. He is obviously disgusted with the question frequency of it. “It’s shallow thinking” he said.

A point he drove home by questioning what would have happened if the founders of St. George had that same thought process. Essentially, “we should only plan for growth when things are good.”

It’s a mentality of a smaller city that is against proper growth-

To date, the estimated cost of the airport will be $160 to $165 million, but the plan is to come under (it always is right)?

Of that money, 125 million was provided by the Federal Government in the form of a grant. For the size of St. George, it is the largest grant the Federal Government has ever issued. The remaining 44 million will be provided from the sale of the current airport. Anderson Development purchased the land for 44 million dollars, and will be finalized when the airport moves from their current location.

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airport floor Shouldn’t we wait for the economy to improve before we build the St. George Airport?airport front Shouldn’t we wait for the economy to improve before we build the St. George Airport?airport map Shouldn’t we wait for the economy to improve before we build the St. George Airport?

The need for the replacement airport?

Existing Airport

  • 6,500 ft. runway length.
  • Built on 274 acres.
  • Not expandable due to mesa top location.
  • No opportunity for airport related uses/industry adjacent to the existing airport.
  • No opportunity for commercial jet service today or in the future.
  • Does not meet current FAA safety requirements.
  • Does not have up-to-date instrument approach.
  • Property can only be used for airport purpose unless another acceptable to the FAA is available.
  • The current property is under contract for sale at $44 million and will close once the new airport is open.
  • Limited vehicular access and parking.

Replacement Airport

  • 9,300 ft. (1.8 miles) runway expandable to 11,500 ft.
  • Built on 1,200 acres nearly five times the size of existing airport
  • Two 50 ft. full length parallel taxiways
  • Will meet all FAA safety requirements
  • Construction provides hundreds of local jobs in a difficult economic climate
  • Will accommodate regional jet aircraft, 737s and Airbus 319s
  • Access provided from the new Atkinville Interchange and new Southern Parkway which is part of the proposed regional beltway
  • More room for general aviation and fixed base operations
  • Full ILS instrumentation and navigational aids will be available
  • Completely expandable to allow the City to meet future needs of the community and area
  • Thousands of adjacent developable acres to accommodate economic development activities
  • Opportunities for other destinations and airlines if and when the market dictates
  • Great time to build because of low construction and material costs, with bids coming in at an average of 45% to 50% below 2007 estimates
  • New modern terminal building will be constructed
  • The total cost of the replacement airport is estimated at $160 million
  • Approximately $123 million is coming from FAA grants. These funds are generated by airline ticket sales, user taxes, fuel fees, and are not generated by federal income taxes. These funds can only be used for airport-related projects. Funds are collected nationwide; if the City does not use the approved grants, they will go to another airport project somewhere else in the country
  • Approximately $44 million is available from the sale of the existing airport site once the new airport is complete and open
  • No property taxes, income, or sales tax is anticipated to be used for the City’s local share of the cost of this new airport

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