‘Community airport’: Spanish Fork breaks ground on Patey Aviation Business Park

Feb 28, 2024, 4:53 PM | Updated: 4:53 pm

Patey aviation park groundbreaking...

Mike Patey, second from left, breaks ground on the Patey Aviation Business Park with other partners on Wednesday. Patey Aviation and Spanish Fork say the project aims to unite the general and aviation communities. (Logan Stefanich, KSL.com)

(Logan Stefanich, KSL.com)

SPANISH FORK — Mike Patey got into aviation 25 years ago, and since then he’s felt like he’s “in heaven” anytime he’s airborne.

“For me, aviation is second only to my family. I have such a love for flight, I can’t even describe it in words,” Patey said.

Patey’s love of flying has led to his desire to spread that love and make it more accessible to everyone. On Wednesday, he came another step closer to that goal with the groundbreaking of the Patey Aviation Business Park, in conjunction with Spanish Fork.

The Spanish Fork Airport describes the upcoming park as a “significant leap forward” for it and private aviation enthusiasts alike. The first phase of development comes with a $60 million price tag, which will be part of an overall project cost of $100 million.

While Patey hopes the park will establish the Spanish Fork Airport as a premiere destination for private pilots, he also sees it as a community project.

Patey Aviation Park rendering

A rendering of the Patey Aviation Business Park is pictured. (Spanish Fork)

“This has been a dream … to take this whole side of the airport and turn it into something for the community,” Patey said. “A park, a place for kids to come hang out and play, see planes, get up on the second story of the restaurant, watch airplanes take off and land. We’re trying to build that here — a community airport for the people, the pilots, everybody that loves anything that flies.”

The state-of-the-art aviation hub will boast 66 hangars, ranging in price from $350,000 to $3.5 million, catering to the diverse needs of private pilots. And with sizes ranging from 2,200 square feet to 21,000 square feet, the hangars will offer space and flexibility to accommodate various aircraft types.

Each hangar will provide access to either a private suite or a shared common suite in hopes of fostering conversation, connection and collaboration between hangar owners. Additionally, a public restaurant is planned for the site.

But what made Spanish Fork the ideal location for this kind of project?

Patey said when most airports were built, buildings were put all over without “good forecasting” for the future.

“It eliminated any ability to do something like we can do here with a park,” Patey said. “This airport, someone had enough foreshadowing to say, ‘You know what? We’re going to put down the runway, and we’re not going to let anybody touch the north side and the south side. We’re going to build and build and build, and then sometime in the future we’re going to allow somebody to come and take the other side and do a new version without having to rip down buildings to do it.'”

And the city is happy about it, too.

“We’re so grateful and excited for this investment to the Spanish Fork Airport and what will come from the efforts of this group and others. We are going to have the greatest general aviation airport in the country,” said Seth Perrins, Spanish Fork city manager.

Patey sees the newest addition to the airport as something that will be good for the entire community, not just the aviation community.

This notion is further reinforced through the businesses Patey said will be brought to the area through the park.

“The community benefits because we can bring hundreds and hundreds of jobs to the community and that money just flows,” Patey said. “The pilots and planes may be from all over the country, but the money drops here in Spanish Fork.”

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‘Community airport’: Spanish Fork breaks ground on Patey Aviation Business Park