Last week, airport officials, community leaders and aviation stakeholders gathered to celebrate the completion of the new Corporate and General Aviation Facility at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in Springfield, IL. The event, which was held in the main lobby, included a dedication and ceremonial ribbon cutting to officially commemorate the opening of the facility.
Susan Shea, Airport Authority Commissioner and former state aviation director for the State of Illinois said, “We are committed to providing a modern airport with facilities, services and amenities that are expected by corporate and general aviation users. This facility underscores that commitment, and we are pleased to have Stellar Aviation as our partner.”
The new facility includes an 11,680 square foot terminal facility that includes a modern lobby, restroom, pilot lounge, flight planning area, VIP lounge, modern meeting/conference room, customer service counter and back-office area consisting of an operations office, manager offices, catering area, employee break area and restroom. Bookending the terminal are two large aircraft hangars with nearly 32,000 combined square feet. Additionally, space was created for local aviation organizations and clubs to host meetings and events. The facility utilized the existing concrete floors and structural steel from the buildings originally constructed on the site in the 1950s and 1960s. The ability to reuse some of the main building components provided a significant cost savings and avoided tons of demolition debris from being hauled off site to a landfill.
“Today we officially opened a new and modern facility that will serve as the front door to our community for years to come,” proclaimed Frank J. Vala, Chair of the Springfield Airport Authority. He continued, “It is critically important that we provide a positive first impression for visitors to our community. Many of the visitors who will pass through this facility will be here to conduct business and participate in commercial activities. This facility will also facilitate the further growth and development of the airport. In addition to the services provided by Stellar Aviation, the facility was designed with available space to be marketed to aviation businesses.”
Stellar Aviation, the fixed base operator at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, occupies the new facility. Brad Kost, Chief Operating Officer for Stellar Aviation Group, said, “We are very pleased with the results achieved by the Springfield Airport Authority, its dedicated staff, and forward-thinking Board of Directors on this General Aviation facility project. Springfield now has a facility to greet and service its guests that is worthy of the great Capital City of Illinois. We are pleased to call this amazing facility our new home.”
Total investment for design and construction of this facility was approximately $8.225 million; financed in part with airport bonds and commercial lending secured by lease revenues. Knight Engineers and Architects provided the planning and design services, and Halverson Construction Company was the general contractor for the project.
The plaque unveiled at the ceremony read, “DEDICATED TO THE CITIZENS OF SPRINGFIELD AND SANGAMON COUNTY FOR THE BETTERMENT OF AIR TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC PROSPERITY”.
“This facility, of course, will serve our community of aviation enthusiasts and aircraft operators, and provide a critical economic development tool for community leaders; it will also send another strong signal to the world that we are open for business!” declared Chair Vala.