The 18,240-square-foot, pre-engineered metal building will provide an operations base for the ARM Aerial Facility that is operated for DOE by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and has been based out of the Tri-Cities Airport Industrial Park for more than three decades.
This new facility at the Tri-Cities Airport Business Center will provide nearly 9,000-square-feet of hangar space to house a new research aircraft, 6,740-square-feet of space for the mission critical aircraft maintenance and science support and 2,700 square-feet of office area.
The ARM Aerial Facility (AAF) serves the global science community focusing on providing airborne measurements of cloud microphysical properties and radiative properties of the atmosphere, as well as aerosols and trace gases. The information researchers collect is downloaded into the ARM Data Center allowing scientists worldwide to access the data for use in their research.
A new aircraft to support the AAF is being planned and will require a larger hangar space than the current Gulfstream-159, or G-1 aircraft that PNNL has operated out of the Tri-Cities Airport since the 1960s. The new, larger hangar will be leased by Battelle, which operates PNNL for DOE.
In addition to the aircraft, AAF’s sophisticated air sampling instruments and research equipment, including a large unmanned aerial system will be housed in the new building. The project will be funded by a $2.0 million loan/grant from the Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board, $350,000 from Franklin County’s Economic Development fund, $500,000 from the Port of Pasco, and DOE is contributing $550,000 in tenant-customized improvements.
The AAF hangar exemplifies the uniqueness of the Tri-Cities Airport Business Center, which allows companies private access to the commercial airfield on one side of the property while maintaining a public store front access on the business center side.
“This hangar not only allows us to continue to support ARM and PNNL as the top employer in the Tri-Cities, it highlights the role the Tri-Cities Airport plays in economic development. We believe this hangar will continue and encourage the growth of corporate aviation at the airport,” stated Port of Pasco Commission President Jean Ryckman. “We want to thank PNNL for being a great partner and look forward to welcoming them to their new home at the Airport Business Center.”
“Franklin County is pleased to participate in this project and looks forward to the important economic and technological benefits it will generate here,” stated Franklin County Commission Chair Brad Peck.
DGR Grant of Richland, WA, is the general contractor on the project and expects construction to take about 8 months to complete.