SNOW HILL – While the major Ocean City airport expansion is still pending, the facility plans to add some capacity to the current configuration with a new hanger.
The town of Ocean City went before the Worcester County Planning Commission for a site plan review of a five-unit, 19,355-square-foot box hanger on Feb. 7. Box hangers handle larger aircraft.
This is the last hanger that can be added to the airport property as it exists now.
“It actually builds us out. We’d have to go back to the FAA,” said Ocean City Public Works Director Hal Adkins.
The new hanger plans are a direct response to consumer demand, according to Adkins.
“We have totally filled capacity at the airport right now. All our tee-hangers are full. We have a waiting list of three individuals,” he said. “We have a waiting list of seven individuals who have larger aircraft which need the larger box style hangers.”
The new hanger cannot house all seven on the waiting list, but the site could not accommodate a larger building, Adkins said.
Airport planners asked the commission for a landscaping waiver around the airport.
“FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] strongly discourages landscaping around buildings. They attract small birds; they can be a hazard,” engineer John Salm said.
The airport overall has a lot of landscaping, he said.
“When you ride down 611, it could stand some screening,” said Planning Commission Chair Carolyn Cummins.
The airfield has the required landscaping along Route 611, according to Salm.
“The buildings are getting closer and closer to the highway. They’re becoming an eyesore on the highway,” Cummins said.
Cummins also wondered about the town’s apparently scattered approach to overall development at the Ocean City Airport.
“Why don’t you bring them all in at once and get them over with?” Cummins asked. “It’s much easier when we look at things comprehensively. I don’t care too much for this piecemeal development.”
Adkins later said that the airport submitted an Airport Master Plan to the county planning office several years ago showing some of the future changes at the facility. Five previous hangers are included in that plan.
“The airport evolves,” he said. “We have had such a high demand for people wanting to base their aircraft in Ocean City we built out those buildings.”