By S. Clayton Moore
It was quite the party at Front Range Airport (FTG) on August 9, as the growing airport celebrated the opening of its new 48-acre business jet module with many local luminaries, airport officials and lots of fanfare.
More than 150 people attended the opening of the airport’s newest hangar, a 27,000-square-foot facility constructed by Amjet, LLC, a new enterprise by Capt. Michael Buehner-Coldrey and his wife, Tina Fiorini. The couple originally built “Big Blue,” a 34,000-square-foot hangar that will now be occupied by ATG, which is building the Javelin jet.
With guests fully satisfied by food, drink and other refreshments, a group of Scottish pipers, led by Jim and Kelly Fitzrandolf, with Susie Carroll on the snare drum, entertained the crowd. Buehner-Coldrey, a former RAF and British Airways pilot who has found a new home here at Front Range Airport, compared the crowd to the lively audiences at the British pubs in his home country of England.
As well as opening Amjet’s new hangar and celebrating the start of business on the business jet module, the festivities also marked a groundbreaking for yet another hangar. Amjet currently holds a 70-year master lease on the land. The company will start construction immediately on the second hangar, adjacent to the first one. FRA Investors, a firm whose partners include Buehner-Coldrey and Fiorini, as well as Joseph Jehn, Hagan Brothers (general contractors) and Tom Molin of Primus Contracting Group, is funding the new hangar. New Frontier Bank in Windsor, Colo. is arranging the financing.
The new facility, totaling 28,800 square feet, will be home to Star West Aviation, a Part 135 airline, maintenance operation and flight school that has already committed to leasing the hangar. Bill Ebert, a United Airlines captain who will utilize twin-engine Piper Chieftains for his cargo operations, founded Star West recently. It’s scheduled to be completed in January 2007.
The opening of the business jet module is one of a number of new developments that are proving the potential of Front Range Airport. With a new $5.7 million air traffic control tower and the completion of essential infrastructure for further construction modules, the airport is poised for significant future development.
“We’re seeing bigger companies with more employees coming here, and they keep spinning off more and more business,” said Dennis Heap, director of aviation at Front Range Airport.
Alice Nichols and Larry Page, Adams County commissioners, briefly addressed the gathering, as did Michael Buehner-Coldrey and Bill Ebert. A number of distinguished guests handled the groundbreaking honors. Manning the shovels were Heap, Ebert Buehner-Coldrey, Tom Molin and Mark Hagan of FRA Investors, and Adams County Commissioners Larry Pace, Alice Nichol, Stephanie Takis, Dave Pehr and Skip Fischer.
“This really is a big event for the airport and for Adams County,” Heap said. “It’s one of those events that demonstrate our accelerated growth. Having a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new hangar that opens up the business jet module and then being able to go over and dig some dirt on another hangar on the same day is pretty exciting.”
For more information about Amjet’s hangar facilities, visit [http://www.amjet2.com]. For more information about Front Range Airport, visit [http://www.ftg-airport.com].