2017-11-09 / Front Page

County commissioners review airport’s ten-year master plan


The most recent additions to the Schoolcraft County Airport are shown above. The airport manage recently discussed future projects included in the airport Master Plan. 
Pioneer Tribune photo The most recent additions to the Schoolcraft County Airport are shown above. The airport manage recently discussed future projects included in the airport Master Plan. Pioneer Tribune photo MANISTIQUE – The Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners recently spent time reviewing the county airport’s Master Plan. The plan includes both improvements to existing structures and surfaces, as well as new additions to increase traffic to the airport.

According to Steve Videtich, Schoolcraft County Airport manager, the Master Plan, which spans the next 10 years, outlines proposals for the hangars, building improvements, maintenance, and the removal of trees from around the runway.

“You have to have a plan to receive FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) money,” he said. “We’re just trying to get this all squared away with the FAA, so we can start applying for grants and receiving more money.”

Commissioner Craig Reiter pointed out that the Master Plan is fluid, meaning that projects slated for completion later can be prioritized if the need occurs.

Videtich noted that next spring, the runway will be repaired and repainted – all paid for via grant funding, with a five percent match from the county. He added that he is also working on funding a new hangar.

“We’re trying to get a layout of a new hangar for four more additional planes,” Videtich said, adding that once the engineering plans are completed, it will be up to the commissioners to approve or deny the project.

He pointed out that the Master Plan also includes a fence to be installed around the perimeter of the airport.

“I pushed that out about three years,” said Videtich. “The reason why … is what’s happening is our hangars are full … I have three people that have already been requesting to come in.

The FAA looks at it as an improvement for our area also because we bring in more planes,” he added. “So they thought that would be the best thing to start on (a new hangar).”

While the airport could accommodate a larger hangar than what it will be pursuing – the four-plane hangar – Videtich pointed out that they are limited by funds available.

As for other potentially bothersome airport “traffic”, Videtich said the airport currently doesn’t have a problem with deer crossing through the airport grounds. He added that Sandhill cranes and seagulls are, however, at times, a nuisance.

Commissioner Larry Mersnick questioned how maintenance at the airport ground has been completed, and if it is being done in a timely manner. Videtich, who is the county’s building and ground supervisor – appointed in 2015 to also serve as the airport manager position – said the work is being completed without a problem.

“We’re (the building and grounds crew) doing everything,” explained Videtich.

As part of the airport’s Master Plan, fuel system improvements and a maintenance storage building were previously completed – allowing pilots to fuel up using credit cards.

The Master Plan, prepared by the C2AE architect group of Escanaba, was unanimously approved by commissioners. Commissioner Chris Rantanen was absent.

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