A $750,000 low-interest loan from Washington State’s Community Aviation Revitalization Board (CARB) will be used to install power-assisted doors at 50 Pierce County Airport-Thun Field airplane hangars.
The Pierce County Council approved participation in the CARB’s loan program May 12.
Most Pierce County-owned hangars at the airport do not have quality doors to protect airplanes from inclement weather. This project will increase hangar security, value and the overall appeal of the airport.
“Our customers want the added weather protection offered by quality doors,” said Rod Propst, Pierce County Planning and Public Works airport manager. “This improvement will enhance the hangar facilities to better meet customer needs and shows our commitment to the general aviation community in the South Sound.”
The CARB loan program is administered by the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Aviation Division. The program provides up to $750,000, a two-percent interest rate and up to a 20-year payment term. The program is available to airports with fewer than 75,000 annual commercial flights.
The program is for revenue-producing capital projects that help public-use general aviation airports become more self-sustainable. Eligible projects include hangars, fueling facilities, business parks and other revenue-generating or cost-cutting developments.
“The Pierce County Council had made General Fund allocations toward the revitalization of Pierce County Airport -Thun Field in the 2020-2021 budget. The CARB Loan gives Pierce County the ability to reduce the burden on the General Fund,” said Pierce County Councilmember Dave Morell. “The maintenance and preservation of this asset is vital to the South Hill community and all of Pierce County.”
Thun Field is a public 163-acre general aviation airport and is an important community transportation and emergency services facility. Approximately 265 aircraft are based at the airport, with more than 103,000 non-commercial take-offs and landings each year. The airport is in the South Hill area and is approximately five miles south of the Washington State Fairgrounds and 25 miles from Mount Rainier.
Sean McDermott, Pierce County public information specialist