SIOUX COUNTY, IA – A paving crew is laying the last long strips of concrete to finish the 5,500-foot runway at the Sioux County Regional Airport – long enough to accommodate everything from single-propeller airplanes to business jets.
The rest of the regional airport building site is also buzzing with activity.
Harold Schiebout, Sioux County Regional Airport board chair says that although the wet conditions have delayed the runway and building work, they still are hoping to use the airport by late-November.
The airport’s terminal building, which features modern, airy design, is ready to be furnished. It offers a classy welcome for pilots, business people, and other travelers. The terminal’s design is several steps above what it would have been, thanks to private fundraising.
Schiebout continues to say that the board appreciates the private donations for the terminal and also the MALSR system. The MALSR, or Medium-intensity Alignment Lighting System with Runway indicator lights, is being installed near the south end of the runway. The sequenced, fog-piercing flashing lights are used to direct pilots landing in situations like low clouds.
Alongside the runway, Cedar Valley Corp has also completed paving the parallel taxiway which is a significant safety feature that’s not available at the Sioux Center airport or in Orange City. Planes can get right off the runway after they land and stay off the runway until they are ready to take off according to Schiebout
Next to the terminal building, one large hangar is up, and work has started on the slightly larger hanger just north of it. Two multi-plane hangars have been built, and all 24 spots have already been spoken for. Several private hangars are being built as well. The airport may host about 35 planes on a regular basis.
Randy Vander Weide will be the airport manager and fixed base operator (FBO). Randy currently manages both the Sioux Center Airport and the Spencer Airport. An FBO provides airport services such as fueling, charter service, hangar space, parking, aircraft rental, maintenance, instruction, crop spraying services, and more. The airport could ultimately have up to 15 employees there, including pilots, fueling crew, maintenance workers and others.
The Sioux County Regional Airport is a joint effort by the cities of Sioux Center and Orange City as well as Sioux County. Schiebout says it’s a great partnership, noting that the collaboration has caught the Federal Aviation Administration’s attention, as well as the Iowa Department of Transportation.