Minuteman Aviation, which operates the Minuteman Jet Center at Montana’s Missoula International Airport, expects to open a new hangar in October. Construction of the 29,150-sq-ft structure began in March and when completed it will roughly double the FBO’s aircraft storage space.
According to Josh Johnson, the company’s director of ground operations, the $2 million heated hangar will have a door height of 22 feet, allowing Minuteman to relocate some of the smaller aircraft from its existing community hangar that can accommodate aircraft up to a Gulfstream IV. The new hangar also has the option to be divided into individual bays should there be demand for such. The Avfuel-branded FBO is home to approximately 20 light jets and turboprops and sees transient activity that includes the largest business jets.
The first stage of the development project also includes 150,000 sq ft of new ramp capable of accommodating 60,000-pound aircraft. The company expects to add additional ramp space once the airport completes its new commercial terminal in mid-2021.
“We’ve seen a steady increase in the need for hangar space, just following the trend in the increase in general aviation and business jet travel,” said Johnson, adding that the FBO has experienced a more than 43 percent increase in business year-over-year, following a 14 percent rise between 2018 and 2019. “We’ve been at max capacity for a little while now, so this is part of continuing to build and accommodate that need.”
The company, which has been in operation for more than four decades, is a helicopter operator and has an FAA Part 145 repair station with Bell and Cessna authorizations.