Monday, August 02, 2021

More changes coming to Mason City Municipal Airport (KMCW)

The Mason City Airport Commission discusses plans for a terminal, restaurant and hangars. 

Mason City,  Cerro Gordo County, Iowa -  The Friday afternoon meeting of the Mason City Airport Commission didn't even last 15 minutes, but the members got plenty done within that short window of time.

In the coming weeks, months and years, residents of Mason City and beyond can expect to see a new restaurant, new hangars and a new building at the Mason City Municipal Airport on Highway 122 West. 

According to Airport Manager David Sims, the commission looked at four different options for a terminal project: three of them would involve significant remodeling while a fourth would require new construction. Sims said the commission decided to go the new building route once they realized that the cost differences wouldn't be that vast.

"Right now, we are looking at potentially bidding that project by next summer," Sims said. The process involves go through environmental and historical studies since the building is at least 60 years old. Funding for the work is coming through the Federal Aviation Administration and Sims said that that needs to be completed by May 2024. 

Sims also said that by next summer, work will begin on new private and public hangars at the airport.

"This has been a long-standing need. We have had a hangar waiting list for many years," Sims said.

Sims said that those hangars will be made possible by a pavement project to extend some taxi lanes that the commission members unanimously approved during their meeting in the basement of Mason City Hall. Chair Tom Hovland and members David Guetzko and Gary Wattnem voted 3-0 to give a contract of about $1.6 million to Heartland Asphalt for that taxi work.

"When will they start?" Wattnem asked Sims. "Still a couple weeks of paperwork but this will get them started," he responded. Sims later added that he hoped work would be completed before winter. 

Like the terminal, the taxi lane work will also involve a federal grant offer.

The three members in attendance additionally signed off on a lease for a new restaurant at the Mason City Municipal Airport complex. The lease itself would run for 14 months.

Under the terms, realtor Catarino Martinez said that he intends to get an eating establishment up and running within the next few months. A few years back, Martinez worked as the manager of Ay Jalisco Mexican Restaurant in Forest City.

"Biggest concern is the liquor license, that usually takes a month and a half," Martinez said. He then acknowledged that he's currently working on the liability insurance as well. 

Previously, Patriot Wings Bar & Grill operated at the Mason City Municipal Airport before closing earlier this year. 


  1. Mason City Municipal Airport @FlyMCW Jun 3, 2021 @ 10:26am
    The Mason City Municipal Airport surpassed a milestone of 1,000 passengers in the month of May, with a total of 1,317 passengers. This is the highest total the Airport has experienced since the COVID-19 Pandemic began in the United States. The ssential Air Service (EAS) contract runs from March 1, 2021, until Feb. 29, 2024. The annual subsidy rate is $3,006,057 from Mason City. SkyWest will operate 12 weekly round trip flights to to Chicago O’Hare.

    1. Mason City is a 2 hour drive from Minneapolis.

  2. 30 people a day?
    Total waste of public taxpayer funding. Like so many other small airports.