TRF Airport receives funding for hangar

The Thief River Falls Regional Airport has been awarded an additional $3 million in state bonding proceeds to construct a new cargo hangar. That award covers a funding gap for the two-bay cargo hangar, which is estimated to cost $15.5 million.

Manager Joe Hedrick said the Airport Authority had hoped the State Legislature would honor its request. He thanked Rep. John Burkel, Sen. Mark Johnson, and Rep. Deb Kiel for their assistance in securing the funding.

The Airport Authority broke ground for the new 30,000-square-foot cargo hangar facility Monday, April 24. The facility is being constructed on the south side of the airport and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2024.

The project has been four years in the making. Digi-Key approached the Airport Authority in 2019 about a larger cargo hangar. In 2020, the Airport Authority lobbied the state and received $5.5 million in bonding proceeds. Later, it received an additional $7.5 million in congressionally-directed spending for the project. That left the $3 million funding gap, which will now be covered by this second disbursement of state bonding proceeds.

The new hangar will have enough space to park two CRJ-200 aircraft. In 2020, IFL Group transitioned to these larger aircraft to transport packages on behalf of both FedEx and UPS at the airport.

IFL Group plans to lease space in the new cargo hangar. It ships a considerable amount of products for DigiKey. The current hangar would then be used by other tenants. Denver Air Connection has already expressed interest, and a few other potential tenants have expressed interest.

Predominantly constructed of pre-cast concrete, the new hangar will provide more functionality and flexibility for future growth than the current hangar. It will also include a few offices, a locker room, and a conference room, which needed a new home.



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