Roger Blaylock, the county engineer, oversees the operation of the small Milton airport that plans to increase from 115 to 128 hangars around the 3,701-foot runway. Ten more hangars are also planned to be constructed in the future.

MILTON — Work on 13 new airplane hangars starts next month at Peter Prince Field and should be completed around March.

The nearly $1.2 million project is the latest major improvement to the public general aviation airport owned by Santa Rosa County.

Roger Blaylock, the county engineer, oversees the operation of the small Milton airport that plans to increase from 115 to 128 hangars around the 3,701-foot runway. Ten more hangars are also planned to be constructed in the future.

“We’re going to have us a well-developed airport,” Blaylock said.

The airfield sits on 565 acres about three miles east of downtown and has received about $13 million in upgrades since 1989, including about $3.2 million since 2017. Much of the money for the airport comes from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Florida Department of Transportation.

Carlos Diaz said the active airfield is becoming among the best small airports in the country. Diaz serves as the president and owner of Aircraft Management Services. AMS has served Peter Prince Field for 26 years as a fixed based operator, the longest serving FBO in Florida.

“In general, the improvements have been tremendous,” Diaz said. “The county has been really responsive to it.”

Besides the hangars, Santa Rosa County also invested $701,227 in new taxiways. The project, which is wrapping up, added two new taxiways and removed three old ones to improve flight safety and comply with FAA preferences.

Additionally, the runway received $1.3 million worth of rehabilitation, such as resurfacing, restriping and new signage that finished in the spring of 2017.

“They’ve done a real good job with the markings and signage” at the runway, Diaz said. “We’re really pleased.”

Blaylock said the airfield generates about $288,000 in revenue a year. With the largest number of military retirees in the First Congressional District of Florida and where jet and helicopter pilots do their military training, it has no problem filling up its hangars. The hangars are occupied about 85% by individuals and the rest by corporations. Monthly fees range from $175 a month to $800 a month, Blaylock reported.

“We’ve reconfigured two new lanes for places in the future,” Blaylock said. “We have a number of aviation enthusiasts here.”