Your Airplane Is On The Fourth Floor

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Going up in an airplane could mean something completely different for owners at Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg, Fla., if a local architect has anything to say about it. Steve Lange is proposing a $16 million hurricane-proof, multistory hangar for aircraft. But don't worry about taxiing your airplane around a series of ramps to get to your spot on the fourth floor. Instead worry whether the robotic system that is supposed to winch your plane to its elevated stall doesn't mix you up with your neighbor. The automatic system of elevators and robots would enable the relatively small (450 feet by 228 feet) building to house up to 336 airplanes. Local pilots are reportedly supporting the project but politicians are leery of the cost. In the end, the law of supply and demand might make the dream a reality, what with 70 aircraft owners on a waiting list for hangar space. "There just isn't any room to expand," said Ed Montari, chairman of the Albert Whitted task force.