The San Diego City Council Tuesday unanimously approved a $16 million lease and redevelopment project encompassing 26.2 acres at Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport that includes new hangars and a flight club lounge with a viewing area.
The project is intended to bring the 84-year-old airport into the 21st century.
“Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport is one of the nation’s busiest airports and a major transportation hub for residents as well as business and leisure travelers,” said Penny Maus, director of the city’s Real Estate Assets Department, which oversees the airport. “This approved project is a great addition of world-class facilities at a general aviation airport that represents the eighth largest city in the United States.”
Executive Airpark — what the aviation industry calls a fixed-base operator and the company overseeing the day-to-day operations of the airport — agreed to make pavement improvements, construct parking facilities, and refurbish and build 69,800 square feet of new hangar space. It also plans to create a 5,850-square-foot flight club lounge with a public viewing area, a fuel farm and a community aircraft wash rack.
Space will be set aside for an Urban Air Mobility hub that — once technology and regulation allow — is intended to support a new type of energy-efficient aircraft. Long-term plans also include the creation of an aviation museum for the public.
Executive Airpark will be located in the southern portion of the airport near Aero Drive, at the former home of Gibbs Flying Service.
“We are excited to welcome these new improvements at the airport, which are needed to support strong economic growth,” said Jorge Rubio, the Real Estate Assets Department’s deputy director of airports. “The development of this world-class aviation facility will improve aviation-related services, increase city lease revenue and continue to ensure the airport remains vibrant and competitive.”
MYF Properties, doing business as Executive Airpark, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Crownair Aviation, which recently made $15 million in improvements at the airport. Its new facility provides fuel, hangar space and aviation services to the airport’s critical users. Previous improvements include a new airport beacon and a 3,600-square-foot city operations garage.
Coast Air Center, the airport’s newest tenant, also invested $9 million in improvements with new hangars, a service center and fueling facilities. It houses one of the nation’s largest flight schools, which trains youth and aspiring pilots from all around the country to support the airline industry and the local economy.
Corporate Helicopters of San Diego, which leases hangar space at the airport, is in the planning stage of building a helicopter fixed-base operator. From the new facility, the company intends to continue to provide helicopter-related services such as aerial tours, flight training and filming and photography. Some of its clients include the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, the County of San Diego, General Dynamics and Southern California Edison.
The Airports Division of the city’s Real Estate Assets Department also manages Brown Field Municipal Airport.