The southern thunderstorms that rolled across Middle Tennessee on Aug. 13 did not cause any injuries, but the 60 mph winds laid waste to a massive hangar that was under construction at the Lebanon Municipal Airport, twisting the brown metal into something akin to downtown Nashville art.
Almost three months later, the rebuilding of the 25,000 square foot hangar has begun. Lebanon Airport Manager Heather Bay said that it took a long time to get every group that is involved on the same page.
“Every department has to inspect the site and be comfortable with the demolition and how it’s going to take place. We will finally see the torches get broken out and it getting cut up and hauled off,” Bay said.
The mangled hangar is just one of many projects that are being undertaken by private developers.
“The city allows for private developers to lease the land for essentially 50 years. We have seven 60x60 hangars under construction. Middle Tennessee has a massive shortage of hangars,” Bay said.
“There’s a 90-person waiting list for hangar space here.”
Bay said that the private developers have driven development in the last four years due to a state law that reduced the tax on aviation fuel. The change eliminated millions of dollars from corporations using Tennessee’s runways which was previously designated for airport projects — like hangars.
“If we can get those hangars built, that frees up more space (in the city-owned hangars) and we can start relieving some of the pressure off of that list,” Bay said.