Monticello airport celebrates new hangar project

The ribbon cutting for the new Monticello Regional Airport’s new 10-T hangar was held on Aug. 12 during the fly-in breakfast. On hand included, front from left, Chamber Ambassador Angie McDonough, airport board members Larry Behrends and Dave Savage, Airport Manager Paul Elmegreen, Troy Culver with engineers Snyder & Associates, Council member Tom Yeoman, and Ambassador Gerald Retzlaff. Back row, Ambassador Audrey Savage, City Administrator Doug Herman, and airport board member Charlie Becker.

Mark Wallace from Dubuque flies to Monticello every year for the annual fly-in breakfast. Wallace is the owner of this 1969 Grummon Yankee plane, which honors his father who was a Korean War veteran.

St. Luke’s Hospital LifeGuard Air Ambulance flew to the Monticello airport on Aug. 12 for the fly-in breakfast. Families were given tours of the helicopter, and kids got to sit in the cockpit for pictures. (Photos by Kim Brooks)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The annual Fly-in/Drive-in Breakfast on Sunday, Aug. 12 at the Monticello Regional Airport was the perfect time to break the seal on the new 10-T (10 unit) hangar.

     City officials and airport board members gathered for the ribbon cutting as planes from all over Eastern Iowa flew in for the breakfast.

     “It’s a great asset for our airport, not only to bring more airplanes to the airport, but it’s a revenue-generating opportunity for the airport, too. We can continue to be self-sustaining,” said City Administrator Doug Herman.

     The idea to building a new hangar began over a year ago, in the spring of 2017. Construction began in October.

     The new hangar is owned by the City of Monticello. The project cost around $665,000, with the city/airport responsible for 10 percent, or $66,000. The FAA funded the rest.

     “All of that FAA money doesn’t come from taxes; the city money doesn’t come from property taxes. It all comes from airport-generated funds,” shared Herman during the ribbon cutting.

     There was a need for the aircraft space, with every other hangar full. As of the ribbon cutting, Airport Manager Paul Elmegreen announced that the new hangar if half full, with six of the 10 spaces already in use.

     The hangar was designed with five units on each side, facing east and west. Each unit is 48 feet wide and 30 feet from front to back.

     “We really appreciate everything that Paul (Elmegreen) has done for the airport in helping to push this along,” praised Herman of Elmegreen’s leadership.

     The prime contractor on the job was Schaus-Vorhies out of Fairfield. Local contractors who had a hand in the project include: REM Electric and Claussen Painting. The city’s engineer, Snyder & Associates, provided oversight on the project.

     “It was a challenging project due to the time of year it finally got started,” Herman said. “We had a few issues to deal with along the way. In the end we got a great product, a great result.”

     Now that the 10-T hangar is complete, the city and airport board will focus on the airport improvement plan, which includes an extension of the runway. The five-year plan calls for extending the runway to 5,500 feet and widening it to 100 feet.

     “We will be an enhanced airport at that point in time,” said Council member and airport board liaison Tom Yeoman.

     He explained with increased jet traffic at the Monticello airport, more runway space is needed for safe landings and takeoffs. “We have a few corporate jets coming in here, particularly with the Great Jones County Fair. We had some corporate jets here just within the last few weeks, and they need a little bit longer runway.”

     Yeoman shared that in addition to corporate jets associated with local industries, the Monticello airport also houses and works with area farmers as well.

     Express Associate Editor Pete Temple contributed to this article.



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