Thursday, March 28, 2013

County Board approves new name for airport

The airport in Oconto may be getting a new name.

The Oconto County Board last week approved a measure changing the name to Oconto Municipal Airport/Bake Memorial Field.

The change is contingent upon approval of the Oconto City Council, which is scheduled to consider the change next month.

The airport has been known as J. Douglas Bake Memorial Airport for several years, after the longtime airport commissioner and pilot died.

Supervisor Gerald Beekman, who submitted the resolution with Jim Lacourciere, said the change was needed to improve flight safety around Oconto.

Pilots entering an airport’s region must note when they do so, and it’s possible a transient pilot just passing through the area wouldn’t realize the current name is connected with Oconto, Beekman explained.

“This clears up a lot of confusion,” he said.

Beekman noted that many airports use similar names to the one proposed for Oconto, with the municipality name at the beginning but honoring a person with the name of the field.

Supervisor Rose Stellmacher said the new name should have Bake’s entire name.

“Mr. Bake spent so much time and did so much at that airport,” Stellmacher said. “It would be nice to have his whole name on there.”

Beekman said he discussed the matter with Bake’s family, and they had no problem with it.

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