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ASU air facility takes off

October 01, 2007

What started last year as a blank slate of open land on the north side of Williams Gateway Airport has been transformed into the new ASU/Mesa Air Hangar and Training Center. A dedication with elected officials from surrounding municipalities, as well as airport, university and Arizona Department of Transportation representatives, is planned for 9 a.m., Oct. 3, at the facility located on Sossaman Road.

The new facility, which is a joint project among ASU, Mesa Air, Williams Gateway Airport Authority and ADOT, will be used for conducting general aircraft maintenance, for sheltering many of the 17 aircraft and for preparing pilots before they take a plane up in the air. The Department of Aeronautical Technology Management has been working on the development of a hangar since it moved to the Polytechnic campus in 1996.

“The reality of this facility is exciting to our administration, faculty and students,” says Rick Charles, chair of the department. “We are now a part of airport operations, not just a user. Our students will have direct access to aircraft dispatch – and a chance to observe directly the maintenance activity on the airplanes they fly.”

The 21,000-square-foot facility sits on three acres of airport land. The construction of the facility, which was started in August 2006, was funded by ADOT with a $3 million loan through the Williams Gateway Airport Authority. ASU will lease the facility from the airport.

“ASU’s presence at Williams Gateway Airport is an invaluable tool for recruiting new businesses to the airport,” says Lynn Kusy, executive director for WGAA. “This new facility will further increase awareness of the ASU aviation program and the cooperative opportunities that exist at Gateway.”