MUNISING, Mich. (WZMQ) – The Hanley Field Airport in Alger County is getting some help from a charity organization. The Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF) is assisting with plans to update the air strip.
Hanley Field recently lost its General Utility status through the FAA due to some of its deteriorating facilities. With the help of The RAF, The Alger County Commission and Hanley field staff are hoping to get the air strip back to basic status. Airport Manager, Richard Bowerman, says there’s not too much work to be done to get the airport back to Basic Utility status.
“We’re not trying to make it a general utility airport right now,” Bowerman says. “We wanna get it back to a basic utility so we can get traffic in here and using it.”
To return to basic status, the 240 acre property needs updates to its traffic control, fences, signage, markers, monuments, and tie downs. Jeff Russell, with RAF, says it’ll be an easy project to complete as long as they have the volunteers necessary to do the work.
“I know there’s a lot of concerns about costs with the airport,” Russell says. “There’s nothing that we’re proposing that is going to increase the ongoing cost of the airport right now.”
County commissioners say Alger County is not expecting to have to raise any taxes to finish the project, and associated costs will come out of the $270,000 earned from the logging done on the property. Russell says once airport has returned to basic utility status, the goal is to add extra amenities like bathrooms and rest areas for aviators to use.
Commissioners say there currently is no long-term plan for the airport, and they’re focusing on doing minor improvements for now to see what will work best long-term for Alger County.