Despite tough economic times, South Albany Airport soaring

"I feel a lot more secure about it with the fence," he said.

Even the clubhouse, where pilots can relax, socialize and plan their outings, has undergone considerable upgrades. The old clubhouse was actually a chicken coop, but today the lounge is a comfortable collection of sofas and chairs. There's even a covered picnic area outside, where the South Albany Airport Corporation holds get-togethers.

Right now, the airport is before the town's Planning Board with hopes of constructing a new maintenance hangar. It would be a considerable upgrade to the facilities they already have, making repairs and plane inspections easier.

If all goes well, Zabinski hopes to have that project under way in September.

The work at the airport is organized by the South Albany Airport Corp., which is maintained through rental fees and fuel sales " many pilots make the airport their pit stop " "transient" traffic " as the $4.19/gallon aviation fuel is about the cheapest around.

In past years, the corporation's also been able to secure grants from the Department of Transportation, in part because the facilities are used by the Army National Guard and state police for training, and for Life Med flights.

Zabinski said he'd like to see more shade hangars installed in the future, but would also like to provide more services at the airport for the community like an airport diner or ice cream stand.

Zabinski has been managing the airport for two and a half years now, along with his wife, Kathy. He learned to fly there, 13 years ago, and when he's not working as a line technician for National Grid, he enjoys taking up his restored 1947 Stinson 108.

The airport is located at 6 Old School Road in Selkirk, just off Creble Road.""

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