Cootamundra Airport sign.

Increased demand for hangars at Cootamundra Airport has encouraged Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council to look into developing more serviced lots for residents to purchase and build on.

Residents in Cootamundra have signalled their interest to house their planes at the airport, similar to the unique Temora suburb of Airpark where aviation enthusiasts can house their planes in hangars, nestled right beside the Airport.

The plan is designed for residents to live and store their planes in the nearby area, making it easier for them to access and commute.

CGRC councillor Charlie Sheahan has acknowledged residents want for these facilities, and along with the Council has investigated the best method of delivering on this proposal.

“The Airport Users’ Group has made us aware that there is a demand for more Hangars,” Charlie said.

“I’ve had discussions with real estate agents in town as well, and they confirm that there is a demand for more hangars.

“We’re looking at allotting more hangars down on Quinlan Drive, but we do run into some zoning issues with the land.”

The current amount of land that is zoned and which potential hangars can be developed at the Airport is quite limited, with the site requiring more spot zoning which has held the entire process up.

“We are aware in the past that Council has made plans on the northern end of the aerodrome area behind the South West Fuel Centre,” the councillor continued.

“The existing plans are for hangars and residences, and the plan at that stage was that the residences were near South West Fuel Centre and the hangars were on the aerodrome land.

“What’s come from the meeting is the proposal that Council will look at that design of those hangars that was done previously and that way we can get those sorts of allotments done pretty quickly and up on the market for sale.

While it will be a huge plus for local aviation groups, the Council has highlighted it as a good way to boost the economy and add vital funds to the Council.

“The Council badly needs capital revenue, and this is one way of doing it,” Charlie continued.

“The valuations that real estate agents have given us is in the vicinity of $100,000 for a hangar lot. If you sell ten of them that’s a million dollars.”

The aerodrome land that is currently available to Council is eligible for amenities to be added to the lots, with varying design aspects to be considered.

“That land is zoned appropriately, so we’d just had to survey the land and add some fundamental services like electricity and sewerage and that should be right.

“We would consult Council staff and design teams as to what would be the economic number to make.

“I’d like to see at least ten or so built and available for the market.”

The Council was previously looking at allotting dwellings in hangars, similar to what Temora has, but has since slightly shifted away from that view.

“We’re looking at those proposed possibilities now at the airport. The suggestion that came from the most recent Airport Users Group is that we have the design for the hangars already in that area.

“The meeting asked the Council to consider adopting those plans that are existing to put hangars there and have them ready for sale,” Charlie said.

While there might take some different direction taken before landing at the desired end goal, there is no doubt that there is a huge demand for the new developments at the Airport.

The Cootamundra Airport is a well-maintained facility, being close in location to the centre of town.

“Pretty much all the hangars that are there are already occupied, and there is still more demand,” Charlie said.

“The real estate agents are telling me that they are getting at least one enquiry a month about people wanting to purchase a hangar at the airport.

“It is expensive to house a plane at an airport.”

Conversations between Council and the Airport Users Group will continue until a final decision is made.

Tim Warren