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Airport gets two hangar projects

By Cindy Yingst, Thursday, January 10, 2019

Construction work remains steady throughout Warrenton and two projects are about to take off at Astoria-Warrenton Regional Airport.

Life Flight Network plans to build a 7,680-square-foot hangar with offices and sleeping quarters for pilots. A second project will put a hangar there for a rock star’s plane.

Both projects would be adjacent to Lektro, near the center of the airport.

In May 2017, the Port of Astoria had placed a $1.9 million bond issue on the ballot as a way to improve a section of the airport for new development and give Life Flight its own area in the far south portion.

But voters rejected the measure, leaving the nonprofit medical transport service scrambling to come up with another solution.

Life Flight was founded in 1978 and is based in Aurora, Ore., but has operational bases throughout the state and in Washington, Idaho and Montana. It plans to keep one helicopter and one airplane in Warrenton.

The new offices will house four to seven staff members for the company’s 24-hour operation, according to Michael Griffiths, Life Flight’s chief executive officer. There will be five offices, a kitchen, a dining/living room, laundry and three sleeping areas for pilots and medical staff.

Life Flight’s current facility is an office trailer near Lektro and a hangar about a quarter-mile away. The distance can add precious minutes to a medical rescue.

The company’s application is available for public review through Jan 9 in the city’s Building and Planning Department. Planning Director Kevin Cronin will decide whether to approve the project after then.

The second project is for KAST Hangars LLC. The company proposes a 6,000-square-foot hangar in a pre-engineered steel building between Lektro and the Columbia River Bar Pilots offices.

Bassist Krist Novoselic, a founding member of Nirvana, along with the late Kurt Cobain, is one of KAST Hangar’s two partners. The other LLC member is Novoselic’s attorney, Allen Draher.

Novoselic lives in Deep River, just east of Naselle, Wash., and is a pilot.

Both projects have been approved by the Port of Astoria and both require having a lease with the port for the property beneath the hangars.

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