Date: July 11, 1984
Location: St. Louis, MO
Newspaper: Naborhood Link News
Wings of Hope Inc., a St. Louis-based humanitarian aviation organization, will construct a hangar to serve as its central base at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport.
Construction of the 6400 square foot hangar – to include offices, meeting room, shops and storage space – will begin this summer and should be completed by year’s end, according to Joseph G. Fabick, president of Wings of Hope.
The decision to establish the central base at Spirit Airport was made at a recent board meeting of the organization, Fabick said. The organization repairs and modifies airplanes for “bus” service in remote areas of the world. The work is done now at rented space at various airports.
Fabick’s announcement followed negotiations by his organization with Richard Hrabko, airport director, for a $5000 a year lease of a 1.4 acre site on the south side of the runway now under construction.
County executive Gene McNary greeted the Wings of Hope decision with enthusiasm and said he was “highly pleased” the County-owned airport will be headquarters for the Wings’ worldwide humanitarian work.
“As we undertake our airport’s $6.3 million improvement plan,” McNary said, “it seems fitting that the citizens of St. Louis – in addition to meeting aviation needs of our area – will be assisting indirectly in meeting human needs in distant parts of the world,” he said.
Wings of Hope was founded in 1962 by a group of St. Louis professional and business men to provide air transportation and radio communication equipment and services to suffering and needy people in remote regions of the world.
Fabick said priority is given mercy missions, such as medical rescue and disaster evacuation.
D. Robert Werner, hangar committee chairman, said the new hanger will enable the organization to operate more efficiently. “It also will make a dramatic statement for the future growth of our not-for-profit organization and its charitable work on five continents,” Werner added.
In addition to the hanger, the Spirit site will provide tie-down space for about 10 aircraft.
Repair work is done largely by volunteer mechanics. Airplanes frequently are modified to permit pilots to land and takeoff in remote areas without improved air strips.