LAKE IN THE HILLS – With hopes of attracting more people to store their airplanes at the village’s airport, Lake in the Hills officials brought back the T-hangar incentive program.
Under the incentive plan, any current airport tenant would receive a $294.80 lease credit for referring a new tenant who enters into a one-year lease.
The new tenant also would have the first three months of the lease rent-free and a 10-cents-a-gallon reduction on fuel bought at the airport for 12 months.
The program began Friday and runs through Aug. 31.
Filling one hangar space would result in a $1,665 gain for the village, according to a memo from Director of Public Works Fred Mullard to the Village Board.
“If we can bring more people in, even if it means one additional aircraft, it brings in additional revenue for us,” Mullard said.
When the village ran the incentive program last year, it had interest from four possible tenants. Three accepted a one-year lease, but one person backed out. Meanwhile, two other tenants left the hangars.
Eight of the 10 hangar spots in the east hangar now are rented.
Village officials last year opened the hangars for non-aeronautical storage, such as RVs, boats, motorcycles, automobiles, snowmobiles, appliances and furniture.
All of the 10-foot-by-30 spaces in the west T-hangar are filled, and some of the 5-foot-by-10-foot and 10-by-10 spaces are occupied.
The Illinois Department of Transportation, however, requires requests to store aeronautical equipment receive priority in the hangars. If necessary, the village can give a 30-day notice to terminate a lease for nonaeronautical storage to accommodate aircraft.
“Because we receive federal money for our improvement program, our priority needs to be ... aviation-related purposes,” Mullard said.
Mullard added that offering the incentive program helps the village stay competitive with other airports.
“Not everyone owns an aircraft, people who used to own aircraft found they no longer could afford to own an aircraft,” Mullard said. “There’s not as many customers as there used to be.”
If more people decide to store airplanes at the airport and see what it has to offer, they may decide to stay long term, Mullard said.
“Our whole objective here is to ensure the airport stays busy in terms of its viability,” Mullard said.