By Michelle Dunlop Herald Writer
The Snohomish County-run airport and Aviation Technical Services are in talks about expanding the maintenance, repair and overhaul company’s presence at Paine Field. One possibility that’s being considered: a new 75,000-square-foot hangar with a price tag of more than $13 million that would initially come from county coffers.
Last year, ATS agreed to lease one of its hangars to Boeing for the jet maker to complete necessary work on 787s. Boeing has built dozens of its new 787s that will need additional work before the aircraft can be delivered to customers.
ATS spokesman Jeff Salee said the company is looking for additional space partly because of the agreement with Boeing. The company also has more work coming in, having signed an agreement last month with Greenpoint Technologies for additional work on 737 Boeing Business Jet interiors.
To quickly boost ATS’s capacity at Paine Field, a large “semi-permanent” tent is being installed next to hangar 2. Salee did not provide the tent’s dimensions, but said it had been used as a temporary hangar in other places.
Boeing has said it will use ATS’s hangar at least through the end of 2012.
However, Salee declined to say whether ATS would need the tent, the new hangar and the old one leased to Boeing, leaving the fate of the leased hangar in the air.
“We are actively seeking new business,” Salee said.
Whether the county and ATS will go forward with the new facility is still uncertain. Dave Waggoner, director of Paine Field, declined to comment on any specifics about the proposed ATS hangar.
“We don’t have a detailed agreement,” he said.
The County Council and executive still have to sign off on a request for $1.25 million in funding from the Community Economic Revitalization Board. Part of the money would be used to clean up contamination on the proposed site, near one of ATS’s existing hangars, and the rest would go for hangar construction, according to a county report.
To apply for the money, ATS and the county need to have an agreement in place that would require the county to contribute $13.3 million for hangar development. ATS would contribute $2.07 million toward designing the hangar. ATS also would agree to lease payments to eventually cover the county’s contribution.