Dear Pilots and interested parties,
As you know, the millage vote to fund the airport failed. The Township board had previously determined if the vote failed, that the runway would be removed by October 1st and fixed wing aircraft would no longer have the infrastructure to fly.
As the Township Manager, my efforts will be to close the airport and remove the runway with grace and a heartfelt understanding that this action is likely not supported by the aviation community. I will be flexible and understanding that my role will be counter to those that love the airport.
The Township recently approved a contract to build a parking lot at the end of the grass runway. This will proceed as planned, but it is unclear when construction will begin given the recent coronavirus pandemic. The Township, through the airport manager has issued a NOTAM closing the grass runway. This will ultimately be a permanent closure. Once construction begins, the contractor will remove a section of the taxiway that will become the base of the parking lot at Cooper Van Wieren. Pilots will be notified when work on partial taxiway removal will occur. Once the taxiway removal starts, the center taxiway will no longer be usable. All traffic will have to use the taxiway at the Runway 5 (southwest) end.
We are asking that pilots and those with hangar land leases please make alternative accommodations by August 1st. We will be sending out formal notices shortly. We will issue a letter requesting MDOT to delist the Airport on August 15th. We will be targeting September 1st as a date to begin removing the runway and taxiways. There is the possibility that material from the runway and taxiways will be recycled for use on the trails connecting Ottawa Beach Road and 152nd Avenue to the Cooper Van Wieren parking lot.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Township offices are closed to the public and will be operating only with essential staff. Please stay safe and healthy during this unprecedented time. Feel free to communicate with me if you have any questions.
Park Township Manager