By Michael Hutchins Herald Democrat
Officials with Texas Aviation Partners announced the lease of hangar 5513 at North Texas Regional Airport — Perrin Field on Wednesday. The large hangar, more commonly known as the alert hangar, was kept at the ready throughout the 1960s and early 1970s with interceptor aircraft in the event of an emergency along the country’s southern border.
Under the terms of the lease, A4-L LLC will get 29,000 square feet of space in the hangar for the next five years, with options to extend the agreement for another 15 years in total. Negotiations for the contract were handled by Texas Aviation Partners, who provide marketing and operations services for the airport.
“We’re please to see A4-L grow their business at NTRA,” Stephen Alexander, with Texas Aviation Partners, said in a press release Wednesday. “The alert hangar was a perfect option for their expansion.”
Currently, A4-L maintains and leases aircraft including the titular Douglas A4 Skyhawk for government and commercial contracts. On its website, A4-L lists contract flights, film and stunt photography, and airshows among its services.
“These professional aircraft are ready for contract to specialized operators and military contractors,” the website said, describing A4L’s services alongside pictures of the Skyhawk in flight. “These aircraft have recent experience as target drone tugs, and as mock dog-fight/aggressor training simulation.”
John Tallichet, president and CEO of A4-L, said the company currently owns seven A4 aircraft with three in flight condition at this time. The company has maintained a smaller box hangar at the airport for about three years, but business has stalled recently as they do not have the space to perform maintenance, he said.
“This new facility will provide the space we need to efficiently support existing operations and enable us to expand our business by offering maintenance support,” Tallichet said.
With the additional space, A4-L will be able to expand its maintenance service to other turbine-powered aircraft including Learjets, Citations and King Air aircraft.
“One of the things that will help the airport grow is the ability to do heavier maintenance,” Ken Mabe, representing Texas Aviation Partners, said Wednesday.
Previously, Alexander described the former alert hangar as a hard sell due to its size and age. The hangar was built in 1951 and first utilized in 1955. Ken Mabe, with Texas Aviation Partners, said the building has been mostly vacant outside of aircraft storage for nearly a decade.
Clyde Siebman, chairman of the Grayson County Regional Mobility Authority, voiced his approval for the contract on Wednesday. In a unanimous vote in December, the GCRMA board approved moving forward with negotiations on the contract.
With a new tenant in the hangar, Siebman said he expected it to bring more attention to the airport and its economic vitality. Through this lease, Siebman said the airport could attract more tenants, including one for the remaining space in the alert hangar. In total, the building has more than 54,000 square feet of space.
Under the lease, A4-L will pay $7,500 each month for the first 12 months of the lease. For the remaining term of the lease, A4-L will pay nearly $9,500 each month.
When asked about any additional investment or equipment for the space, Mabe said he was uncertain what would be needed, but he expected that there would be some investment in the building.
“With any building of that age, there is going to maintenance and I expect there will be money invested in it,” he said.