SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - The Abraham Lincoln Capitol Airport celebrated its completed construction of a new corporate and general aviation facility.

After four years of planning and construction, the new aviation facility is open for business.

Stellar Aviation, the fixed base operator at the airport, occupies the new space. The COO of Stellar Aviation, Brad Kost, said this facility is dedicated to the people of Springfield.

"The Springfield airport is a gateway to the capitol of Illinois," Kost said.

"The GA side of things has had its own face lift. You now have facilities at this airport that are world class ... that are as nice or on par better than a lot of the facilities you'd see in the Chicago area," Kost said. "This is what the state capitol airport and aviation facilities should look like."

Frank Vala of Springfield Airport Authority said the new facility is filled with tons of brand-new, modern features.

"It offers 32,000 square feet of hanger space, and 11,000 square feet of terminal space," Vala said. "It includes a modern lobby, restrooms, a pilot lounge, planning area and meeting area. "We're working on the completion of a public stairwell, a viewing area that will be open to the public."

The mayor of Springfield, Jim Langfelder, said he hopes this facility will help bring in more dollars for a post-COVID society. 

"I couldn't ask for a better time to bring in this facility, because it's about new beginnings," Langfelder said. "Springfield is the number one post-pandemic community in the country."

Chairman for the Sangamon County Board, Andy Van Meter, said the goal is to gain economic growth by bringing in more investor funding.

"The public wants to know, what does this mean for them ... an airport for fat cats to fly into," Van Meter said. "This is our front door for the businesses we want to attract to this community."

The completion of the new facility will also bring more jobs to Springfield.

"This facility has the potential to generate 50 to 75 new jobs in the community very quickly," Kost said. "We're here to serve the community. Now, we have facilities that say, we are open, we are ready and bring your business into the state capitol."

By utilizing the existing concrete floors and structural steel from the original 1950's site, the project cost $8.2 million.

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