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Chandler Airport Development Soars

By Luci Scott for The Arizona Republic

Photo Credit: CBS 5 AZ

Chandler Air Service, a longtime airport anchor, a flight school and a one-stop shop for corporate pilots and general aviation, has just signed a 30-year lease and is poised for a big expansion.

A new entrance to the airport from Cooper Road was built recently, and city sewer now is available to tenants who want to get off septic tanks. Eighteen more acres have been opened up for development.

It is one of the busiest general-aviation airports in the nation. People fly in for business and pleasure. They include professional sports figures or executives going to the Chandler Fashion Center or Intel, as well as people attending a NASCAR race or an event at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving.

The airport has never been far from being self-supporting, and the push is on to gain more tenants for it and the Chandler Airpark, the 9 square miles surrounding the airport.

Runways are being repaired, more fuel is being sold and there is increased activity in sales and leasing of tiedowns, chains anchored in concrete that secure planes.

Mayor Jay Tibshraeny notes that the airpark is one of the last areas in Chandler with large tracts of land.

The Great Recession in recent years stalled development, he noted, and “now it’s a good time and a new good plan and the right people to breathe new life into our airport.”

John Walkup, who owns Chandler Air Service, has increased his leased property from 4 to 5 acres.

He plans to tear down his hangar and build a facility of 20,000 square feet, or five times as large as his current hangar. “We have a desire to build a modern hangar for storing aircraft and our flight school and our pilot supply store,” said Walkup, who operates 28 aircraft.

One improvement to the airport that isn’t being discussed is a runway expansion. A public vote turned that down three times.

Read more at AZCentral

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