Saturday, May 04, 2013

The skinny on the rumor: Meadow Lake Airport (KFLY), Colorado Springs, Colorado

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 – 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 Shook’s 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.

“The original idea behind the airport was that it was going to be private and to keep it private with no government interference,” 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.

“In 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,” Shook said. “It’s 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.”

All 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. “It’s a public use airport that is privately owned by a nonprofit airport association,” he said.

“The private property side of the airport is supported by private money,” Shook said. “The public side is supported by user fees like fuel tax, which funds the Colorado Discretionary Aviation Grants.”

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