The Kearney Aviation Center is gearing up to open a brand new 150 x 150 foot airplane hanger.
Currently, the only option for people at the airport is a hanger with no heat, and while it keeps the rain off, it doesn't do much to keep the cold out.
The city of Kearney has built the new heated hanger and the Kearney Aviation Center is leasing it. Along with the hanger, the airport is providing more features to customers that airport staff say is a rare luxury for a small airport.
Phil Jossi, president of Kearney Aviation, explained that frequent fliers don't want to sit on cold leather seats and the low temperatures are also hard on engines. Now passengers will be boarding a plane already heated.
"The whole hanger is heated, heat radiates from the ceiling, gas fire heaters and also heat rails for the doors so that when it rains or snows and freezes, the doors will function properly. It wouldn't do us any good if we had a heated hanger but couldn't get the doors open," said Jossi.
Jossi is very excited about the new building. "This individual would want their plane in a heated hanger and we'll have one in two or three weeks, so we'll be very very happy about that," he Jossi.
The Great Lake Airlines also anticipate using the hanger as they have been patiently waiting for its debut.
"First flight has to be pulled out around 5 or 6 o'clock and so if it sits out in a cold hanger or outside it's just that more difficult for the flying public," said Jossi.
There will be three new services: de-icing, replenishing oxygen holding tanks and lav capability for dump tanks.
Jossi said, "We pride ourselves on customer service. We'll do anything for the aircraft owner when they come in. We have courtesy cars, we'll drive them. We just take care of the people. We'll have the aircraft out on the ramp staged and fueled and ready to go."
Jossi explained how the new hanger will bring more people to Kearney too. "Now they will be able to stay here, stay in our motels, and eat in our restaurants until they get ready to go, and all the time their aircraft will be protected from the elements."
People have already signed up to use the new hanger. "We have some local business owners who would have aircrafts that would like to be in the hanger. We will lease space in the hanger to them as well as the airliners, the Great Lakes as well as a guy from Grand Island," said Jossi.
Depending on the size of the planes the Kearney Aviation Center thinks that they will be able to hold up to eight aircrafts in the hanger. Hanger rent is based on a nightly or term basis for an aircraft. The hanger will be complete and ready to be used sometime in the second week of January.