Saratoga County

Saratoga County Airport measures worry residents

Two companies are looking to enter into 40-year leases; one wants to build a hangar and office building
The Saratoga County Airport is seen Monday, June 9, 2014.
The Saratoga County Airport is seen Monday, June 9, 2014.

SARATOGA COUNTY — The Board of Supervisors is considering two actions regarding the Saratoga County Airport that have nearby residents concerned about future expansion of the facility. 

At a Wednesday agenda meeting, the board conducted public hearings on a resolution to consolidate North American Flight Services’ two leases into one 40-year lease and a resolution to lease a nearly 3-acre portion of the airport to Prime Group Holdings to construct an approximately 20,000-square-foot hangar with an attached 30,000-square-foot, two-story office building. 

Chairman Ed Kinowski told residents the proposed hangar and office building would not result in an extension of the runway, additional acreage or the accommodation of larger aircraft, but rather is expected to decrease aircraft traffic.

“They have a hangar in Warrensburg and are flying down to Saratoga County to pick up people, so there’s a duplicate amount of pick-ups and take-offs, so this is expected to reduce that,” he said. “We’ve been in meetings with Prime Group, and we see this, quite frankly, as a way of improving the facilities overall at the airport that have been needed for quite some time.”

Tony Licata, a resident of Ichabod Lane in the town of Milton for more than 30 years, fought an airport expansion plan floated in 2014; that was voted down by the county Buildings and Grounds Committee. 

The 2014 expansion proposal came from consultants who were updating the airport’s master plan. 

Licata said he’s concerned North American Flight Services and Prime Group Holdings are “trying to get their foot in the door” to expand the airport in the future. 

“I live behind the airport, so I’m concerned about what’s going to happen to it,” he said. “My house will be worth nothing if (the airport) expands, and the whole neighborhood would be impacted.”

Licata added that the reduced aircraft traffic Kinowski referenced regarding Prime Group Holdings would be minuscule. 

“How many trips would it reduce — one, two or three a week — big deal,” he said. “We get more planes than that in a day. I don’t know what they’re looking to do, but I feel it’s more than meets the eye.”

Prime Group Holdings is looking to lease 2.82 acres of land for a term of 40 years, which would begin on Oct. 1. The annual rent for the first year would be $22,551.40, subject to annual adjustments based on the change in the Consumer Price Index

North American Flight Services is also hoping to enter into a 40-year lease on Oct. 1. That firm’s annual rent payment for the first year of their lease would be $77,050.44, also subject to a Consumer Price Index adjustment. 

An Acland Boulevard resident, who would not give his name, said he moved to Milton within the last year and is concerned about increased flight traffic, noise, and losing neighbors and sight lines. 

“The noise isn’t too bad now, but I can hear planes frequently now and then, and it’ll increase during track season,” he said of Saratoga Race Course. “Last July and August, my house rumbled almost every hour with people landing and taking off.

“I can hear them more than I thought I would.”

The resident said he hopes the Board of Supervisors continues to be transparent about issues concerning Saratoga County Airport. 

“I’m concerned if the county loses control of the airport, it could negatively impact me,” he said. 

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to meet at 4 p.m. Tuesday at 40 McMaster St. in Ballston Spa. 

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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