Alexander Field: Work continues
By City Times staff
Continued from a previous edition
Today, work continues on improvements to Alexander Field, as construction progresses on a new hangar.
Airport manager Jeremy Sickler said that the hangar was needed to accommodate the new traffic the airport is seeing, due to Sand Valley and representatives of local corporations.
“We were aware of aircraft that were going to other airports, because we didn’t have a hangar,” he explained. “They insisted that the plane be kept in a hangar, so they would go to Mosinee or Appleton or Stevens Point. So, we were losing business without a hangar.
“The only hangar that is owned by the commission is the oldest building that is out here. Built in the 1930s… and its only got a 14 foot high door, so any plane taller than 14 feet, we can’t fit them in any of the commission-owned buildings.
“We get asked pretty regularly if there is hangar space available for these jets that are flying in here, mostly because of damaging weather – wind, hail, things like that. They, of course, want to be under cover if they can, but some of these guys they just want their plane in a hangar wherever they go; that is just their policy or preference, ‘If there is a hangar available we will take it.’
Construction recently began on a hangar to accommodate this need.
“I don’t think they would have ever justified spending $2 million plus on this hangar out of the commission’s own dollars, but we found out last November that we had the money to build the hangar from another windfall that came through from the Bureau of Aeronautics. So, we went ahead with planning and designing the hangar,” he recalled.
Sickler said that when the hangar is finished, Alexander Field will be one of just an estimated five airports with hangars of that size available for larger aircraft.
With jet traffic counts reaching 95 percent of the total air traffic during the summer months and an estimated 800 takeoffs and landings during 2019 – most of them occurring in the summer months – completion of the hangar is highly anticipated and critical for the future of Alexander Field.