Aerial view of Menomonie Airport

Perhaps this aerial view of one of the best small local airports in the state will inspire a citizen interested in aviation to fill a vacancy on the Menomonie Airport Commission.

The wonderful Menomonie Airport needs supervision.

In 1985, a small group of farsighted Menomonie businessmen realized that business growth in Menomonie would be aided by an airport. The city manager of that time did not share this vision, but agreed to provide matching funds if they could raise $100,000 to build an airport.

These businessmen donated time, money, expertise, and services to make this a reality. They knew that an airport would make the town a more attractive business location, especially for large companies. They more than met the matching goal.

Then they built the airport, with a 3,000 foot north-south runway, taxiway, and fuel service. They built a small terminal building. Then they sold the completed airport to the city of Menomonie for one dollar.

This country has, since the time of Charles Lindbergh, recognized air travel as important in commerce and has supported building and maintaining airports because they are essential to air travel. City-owned airports such as ours receive annual federal grant money and are eligible for 90 to 95 percent matching federal funds for improvements.

The Menomonie City Council created an advisory airport commission to guide the development and maintenance of our airport.

Menomonie now has one of the finest small-town airports anywhere. Its main runway can handle business jets day and night and in good weather and bad. Its crosswind runway adds safety for small aircraft on windy days.

Our airport has a wonderful terminal building to welcome visitors and for student flight training. Business jets land several times weekly in support of local industries.

We have a busy service and training facility, a “fixed base operation” or FBO, managed by Darrell Gibson, whose father managed the Eau Claire airport for many years.

The airport commission is a group of volunteers appointed by the mayor and approved by the city Council. Many fine citizens of Menomonie have served on it through the past 30 years — and only residents of Menomonie may serve.

One of our commissioners, Dr. Heather Cowden, no longer lives within the city and therefore has had to resign.

The commission needs a responsible citizen who is interested in aviation and our airport to replace her. Please contact Mayor Randy Knaack to volunteer.

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Dunn County News Editor

Barbara Lyon is the editor of The Dunn County News in Menomonie, WI.

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