An initiative to build a $3.5 million dormitory for summer employees at the airport is at least two years away from completion. Members of a committee looking at the feasibility of a complex said there is much work to do, but support is widespread.

Norman Rankow, the chairman of the summer workforce housing task force, talked about the plan Wednesday afternoon at the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown. He said the task force has been meeting for six months and has received support from a number of groups. The task force is considering a facility with between 200 and 250 beds, he said.

The biggest obstacle his group has found so far involves the Federal Aviation Administration. “They don’t want to hear anything about housing,” Mr. Rankow said. “This is a problem we have to solve. Whether we can jump that hurtle or not is not known. But we need this on the Island.”

As the plan now looks, Mr. Rankow said, the facility will be run as a private entity, neither as a housing authority nor as a nonprofit organization. He said that interested local businesses will be entered in a lottery and the winners will be offered a bed. Each bed in the facility will cost about $14,000, and businesses will be assessed a fee of approximately $100 a week to cover the building management.

“It will be run by the owners of the building; they will make the rules and govern the building,” said Paul Watts, a vice president with Compass Bank, a member of the committee. There have been discussions about providing recreation rooms and kitchens, but it is likely there will be no washing machines because there is a laundromat at the airport.

“We don’t want to hurt any of the nearby businesses,” Mr. Watts said.

Committee member Craig Arnold of the Beach Plum Inn said that they didn’t want the new facility to overload the existing airport wastewater treatment plant.

The committee is looking at two parcels of property for the future facility, one a 6.2-acre parcel abutting the Hot Tin Roof. There is a second 1.7-acre parcel nearby.

“Massachusetts Housing Development loves this project,” Mr. Rankow said. “This is great for them. This is a private facility that is serving the public.”

The afternoon meeting was attended by 24 people. Many sat and listened while others raised questions.

Ron Mechur of Oak Bluffs suggested that the committee not necessarily build a new structure but consider existing buildings in the community that might house a dormitory. The old Oak Bluffs elementary school might be a usable building, he said.

Mr. Rankow said the task force looked at that option, but the big obstacle seen was community support. There was also a zoning issue. He said the site they have selected is already zoned for a dormitory.

Herb Putnam of West Tisbury, a member of the task force, said he thinks the business community will strongly support the project. “We think that 250 beds is a drop in the bucket,” he said.

The group was asked why there isn’t a bigger effort to make some summer homes on the Island homes for year-round residents. Task force member Nancy Vogel of Harborside Realty said there is a dire need in the community for affordable summer housing for employees, but there is as yet no economic mechanism to fund it. Year-round housing is very difficult to find, she said, as owners of homes for investment purposes don’t want to rent their homes 12 months during the year. They’d rather rent it for the summer and leave the house vacant for the rest of the winter, she said, because there is less wear and tear.

If you are renting your house for a summer, she said, you get half of the money up front in February and the rest in the summer. Year-round rentals, she said, only generate monthly rent payments.

The dormitory is not a new idea. Mr. Arnold said that similar dormitory housing is being built in seasonal tourist communities such as Aspen.