The new falcon herald logo.
Feature Articles

Meadow Lake: the skinny on the rumor

In the April 6 issue of The New Falcon Herald, the rumor column noted that a new 6,000-square-foot hangar was being built at the Meadow Lake Airport ñ but not on the airport property. Mark Shook, Meadow Lake Airport Association Board of Directors vice president, has clarified the rumor, which turned out to be true.The hangar is on Shookís property. The hangar will store two large aircrafts and three rotor crafts and measure 4,200 square feet; the buildable area on the lot is 6,000 square feet, he said.Dave Elliott, MLAA president, said there has been confusion surrounding the constitution of the airport and its property. The majority of the hangars considered part of the airport are actually located on private property to the east of the main runway, known as the Airport Hangar subdivision, Elliott said.ìThe original idea behind the airport was that it was going to be private and to keep it private with no government interference,î he said.The first airport runway was graded out in 1965 and was 4,000 feet long and about 30 feet wide, which is narrow for a runway, Shook said. It was paved in 1970.ìIn 1989, the Federal Aviation Association granted it General Aviation Retriever Status, meaning the airport was available for everybody to use without charge at that time, kind of like a highway in front of your business,î Shook said. ìItís a public use of the transportation system. There is tax on the sale of gasoline and the dues from the property owners of the MLAA, which is how the public portion of the airport is funded.îAll of the runways, taxiways and aeronautical surfaces are owned by the airport association, Shook said. People who pay dues to the association have voting rights to elect the board that manages the nonprofit MLAA, Shook said. ìItís a public use airport that is privately owned by a nonprofit airport association,î he said.ìThe private property side of the airport is supported by private money,î Shook said. ìThe public side is supported by user fees like fuel tax, which funds the Colorado Discretionary Aviation Grants.îIn 1992, the main 6,000-foot long and 60-foot-wide runway was built, and the private pilots using the airport put together a 501 (c) 4 nonprofit airport association ñ the MLAA, he said.ìCollectively, the airport association owns, controls and operates the airport with a seven-person board of directors and volunteers,î he said. ìThe airport runs on a budget of about $80,000 per year.ìThe private property gets taxed and that money goes to the county. There is absolutely no cost to the general public to operate or maintain this airport.îCurrently, the airport has between 60,000 to 75,000 landings and takeoffs per year, Elliott said.The airport stores about 450 airplanes, the second largest amount in the state, Elliott said. However, the spirit of the airport is to stick with grassroots aviation. ìWe have 115 small businesses that operate out of the airport,î Elliott said. ìTheyíre usually mom and pop businesses, which is very telling of the personal investment in the property and the airport.ìThere is no control tower here. The pilots all talk to each other. They announce and coordinate with each other.î Elliott said they call it a ìpilot-controlledî airport.Aside from Shookís new hangar, construction at the MLA is near the operations and maintenance hangar, typically called the old hangar, Elliott said. The construction is called the Bravo Run-Up, Transient Ramp, he said. This construction is funded through the CDAG in the amount of $400,000 and an MLAA match of $44,444, he said.ìThe construction is basically a big piece of asphalt where planes will park,î Shook said.The completion date is tentatively set for May 25, Elliott said.Other improvements that might not be as easy to spot are taking place adjacent to the main runway, Elliott said. A turf runway was approved for construction, which will be a 5,000-foot-long area of mowed natural vegetation used for hydraulic winch-powered glider operations, he said. Construction has been halted because an environmental assessment needed to be completed, Elliott said.Elliott said final FAA approval is expected soon, which means the MLAA needs to mow, fill in coyote holes and remove cacti before the runway can be used. ìWeíre going to keep the rolling hills on the runway so it simulates a field landing,î he said. ìThis will be the only runway like it on the Front Range.îThe runway is expected to be open for operations during the second quarter.

StratusIQ Fiber Internet Falcon Advertisement

Current Weather

Weather Cams by StratusIQ

Search Advertisers