Hayward airport expands operations as Bay Area business travel booms
As originally seen in the East Bay Times by Annie Sciacca
HAYWARD — The Hayward Executive Airport on Tuesday celebrated an expansion project that will help it accommodate the increasing demand for air travel to and from the Bay Area.
The expansion comes in the form of a new operation from APP Jet Center, an aviation company that manages airport real estate and offers support services like fueling, hangaring and parking for jet and airplane owners and operators.
The expansion project APP Jet Center completed at the Hayward airport included the construction of a new 20,000-square-foot hangar that has increased APP’s capacity from about 64,000 square feet to 86,000 square feet of hangar space at the airport, a new 3,000 square-foot passenger terminal with seating, showers, “snooze rooms” and meeting space, and an open ramp for aircraft to access without congestion.
They are important qualities for clients who often pay thousands of dollars to fly on private charter planes or for companies and individuals who own their jets, said Thom Harrow, CEO of APP Properties, Inc., which owns APP Jet Center.
APP Jet Center has been at the Hayward airport for approximately 10 years in a different facility, but a growing client base and competition from new airport operators prompted it to invest in an expansion, Harrow said. It will shift its aircraft operations to the new hangar and facility, while its other Hayward airport operation will house mostly offices.
Its client base includes a “significant” number of companies and individuals in Silicon Valley and other parts of the Bay Area who own planes, as well as charter jet services and aviation operators coming into the Bay Area from Europe, Asia and other places, Harrow said.
As business has boomed in the Bay Area, prompting an increase in both business and leisure travel, commercial airports, such as Oakland International Airport and Mineta San Jose International Airport, and smaller airports like Hayward Executive Airport and Concord’s Buchanan Field Airport that serve private planes, have flourished.
“We’re seeing a boom in business travel,” said Doug McNeeley, manager of the Hayward airport, adding that the smaller hangars at the airport have a waiting list of about 70 people.
The APP Jet Center facility joins another new operation at the airport, a hangar and base from aviation company Meridian, which opened in December.
In addition to individuals, charter companies and corporate jets, the airport also serves police, humanitarian and media air travel. Its location in the East Bay close to the San Mateo bridge makes for easy access to Silicon Valley and San Francisco, McNeeley said.
The new expansion from APP Jet Center means more fuel will be sold, resulting in more money for the city of Hayward, which gets 5 cents per gallon or 3 percent of gross fuel sales from airport operations. APP Jet Center sells more than 1.8 million gallons of fuel per year, Harrow said.
“The Hayward airport is such an asset to our community,” said Hayward City Manager Kelly McAdoo. “We’re lucky to have it and lucky to have great tenants who invest in it. … Hayward, as a result, will continue to prioritize it.”