“Kenmore wouldn’t be Kenmore without Kenmore Air,” said Mayor Dave Baker as the door opened to Kenmore Air’s new hangar.
Thursday, March 12, 2015, the current and past Kenmore Air family was joined by several of the community’s top elected officials.
The new hangar is large enough to house the biggest of Kenmore Air’s fleet, a de Havilland Otter. These 11-seaters have a massive 58-foot wingspan and are nearly 13-feet tall. They require a lot of space.
Previously, Otter maintenance had to be performed outdoors. During the winter this often meant postponing projects and grounding planes for untold amounts of time.
Thankfully, things have now changed.
The new hangar, fondly dubbed the “Otter Hangar,” offers 14,400 square feet of indoor space for maintenance and annual inspections.
The idea of an indoor maintenance space large enough for Otters was originally considered in the fall of 2010. But the initial concept of an all-concrete structure was simply not affordable.
However, in the spring of 2013, Kenmore Air President Todd Banks, Kenmore Air Director of Maintenance Rob Richey and Kenmore Air Chief Inspector Eric Ellison began exploring alternative options.
At the Alaska Airmen’s trade show in Anchorage, Banks and Ellison spoke with R & M Steel of Caldwell, Idaho. R & M’s steel hangars offered an incredibly functional option at a much more attractive price point.
To build the hangar R & M recommended Talboy Construction. By the summer of 2013, the old barn occupying the western corner of Kenmore Air’s campus was torn down. The idea was about to become a reality.
Kenmore Air officials worked closely with Dick Talboy and Dante Johnson from Talboy Construction. Richey said:
Dick and Dante have to be two of the most patient people in the world for what we put them through. This was not an easy location to build due to the proximity of the lake and how close we wanted to be to the property lines. But Dick worked with the City of Kenmore and got permits to start work this last summer.
Additionally, “The City of Kenmore bent over backwards to help with the process. They were great to work with,” said Richey.