Hunt Field Airport On Schedule To Open Around Halloween
(LANDER, WYO.) – Lander’s Hunt Field Airport is on schedule to open up around Halloween, despite the wet weather, according to Rajean Strube Fossen, Assistant to Mayor Del McOmie. “Weather delays in late September caused a lot of non-work days so we brought in a second paving crew that had just finished in Casper to help speed up the process,” says Guy Slabaugh of Century companies. “We are doing everything in our power to get the airport runway open on time”
According to Fossen, the Hunt Field Construction Project is a $6.2 million project that is paid for with 90% FAA funding, 8% State Funding and 2% City funding. The runway was last paved in 1954, later widened in 1988 and has had no major repairs since then. The new runway has a more than 50-year design life with proper maintenance. The new runway is 75 feet wide with 12.5-foot paved shoulders, and 5004 feet long. The construction includes all new LED lighting and extended runway safety zones on each end to meet FAA standards.
According to the Hunt Field Master Plan completed in 2015, Lander’s general aviation activity has a local economic impact of over $1.5 Million dollars, annually. This includes $51,000 in state tax generating activities, $400,000 in payroll and 13 related jobs. These 13 jobs are directly related to air service and do not take into account the businesses that rely on the airport for their mode of transportation to get to work, like local construction companies, rotating doctors serving Lander patients, air ambulance services, and local retail businesses.
Hunt Field houses 54 permanent aircraft in 42 hangars. There is an EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) Chapter 1020 that holds monthly meetings at Hunt Field. Many of the aircraft at the airport are experimental planes built by local pilots. Guardian Flight is a major user of the airport. Matt Strauss of Guardian says that he will “proudly volunteer to have our ambulance King Air be the first plane to land on the new runway.” Guardian has been transporting from Hunt Field in a helicopter since August 1st in order to maintain service to the community.