Will house private jets at Camarillo Airport
October 19, 2018
By Hector Gonzalez
BEYOND FIRST CLASS—Four hangars, each 25,000 square feet in size, are part of RKR’s
$20-million plan to build a new facility at Camarillo Airport for private jet owners. Courtesy of RKR
County supervisors have given their initial approval to a Calabasas developer’s plan to build four state-of-the-art hangars for private jets at Camarillo Airport.
Once built, the hangars will cater to a narrow but high demand market, said Ron Rasak, owner of RKR Inc. He expects to have at least 40 percent of the hangar space rented on opening day, mostly to wealthy clients and corporations, he told the Ventura County Board of Supervisors during a Sept. 25 meeting.
“These hangars are really just for individuals or large companies. These are people who don’t want to put their planes with a charter company, who don’t want their planes moved in and out all the time—they want their own hangar,” Rasak said.
RKR Inc. received approval last month from the Board of Supervisors for a two-year lease option as well as a long-term agreement for the company to lease 6.2 acres of airport property on the northeast end of the facility off Las Posas Road.
Until this spring the property was known as the “sea of cars” because it had been rented by a car dealership to store overflow inventory.
Each of the four hangars RKR wants to build on the site would be 25,000 square feet, collectively accommodating up to eight jet aircraft. The developer would also build 5,000 square feet of office space, as well as an entrance road along Las Posas and a connecting taxiway to the runway.
The total estimated cost of the project is $20 million. The two-year lease option on the land will give RKR time to conduct studies “to see if the deal will actually work for them,” Jorge Rubio, deputy director of county airports, told supervisors at the meeting.
One of the things RKR is studying is the possibility of adding a bike lane to the property’s entrance road on Las Posas. The developer is working with Camarillo city officials on the bike lane proposal, Rubio said.
The lease agreement was approved by four of the five supervisors. Supervisor Peter Foy, who represents aeronautical companies in his private business, recused himself from the vote. The agreement gives RKR the right to build the facility and operate it for 40 years, with an option to extend the lease for an additional 10 years. During the period of the lease, RKR would pay the county $19,000 a month in rent. After the lease expires, the property, including all improvements made by RKR, would revert back to the county.
Board members also approved a motion by Supervisor Steve Bennett directing staff to study and report back on the feasibility of adding a jet traffic impact fee as part of the project.
Bennett said a study could determine if increased jet traffic results in more greenhouse gas emissions and whether a fee is needed to offset any environmental impacts.
Supervisors would need to approve any new fees. Rasak said increased jet traffic from the project would cause few environmental impacts at the airport or to the surrounding community.
“At the most, I would say, there would be a maximum of eight planes, maybe six. So you see, for a project of this size, it’s an extremely low-impact project,” he said.
He said it was a “no lose” proposition for the county and the City of Camarillo.
“ I’m putting up a lot of money,” Rasak said. “My gut feeling is that in the end we’ll have a project that I can be proud of, that you can be proud of and your constituents can be very proud of.”