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Sat, Jul 09, 2011

Dedication of New Wautoma, WI FBO/Terminal Building Planned For July 24th

Pilots Heading To AirVenture 2011 Will Be Greeted By A Superb New “Green” Facility

Special to ANN by Larry Stencel

AirVenture bound pilots who choose to stop at or stage from the Wautoma, WI (Y50) airport, 33NM due west of Oshkosh, are in for a big treat this year. The well used, decades old double-wide office trailer FBO has been replaced with a new world class “green” terminal building. The new 2,100 square foot chalet style combined terminal/FBO facility will be formally opened to the public and dedicated on Sunday, July 24th  … just in time for Airventure 2011. Under construction since November 2010, the facility was turned over to the City of Wautoma on June 30th. "By the time AirVenture week begins, we’ll be up and ready," said Airport Co-Manager Dick Jorgensen. "The metamorphosis is astounding and local pilots are elated with the improvement."

AIP funding provided for most of the cost while the State of Wisconsin and City of Wautoma provided the required matching dollars. The facility contains a generous open terminal area, pilot planning, conference, refreshment lounge, FBO office, pilot waiting and shower facility rooms. It was designed from the outset to be a high efficiency and eye-catching building. To celebrate the event, EAA Chapter 1331 will be holding a pancake breakfast for the public on Saturday, July 23rd and Sunday, July 24th. After the formal dedication at 1:30PM on Sunday, brats and burgers will be served to both the public and all transient pilots who choose to make Wautoma their base of operations. The renovated EAA hangar is just east of the new terminal.

During AirVenture 2010, incessant rains forced closure of large portions of the Wittman airport grounds to both airplanes and RV’s. Inbound airplanes were then forced to choose outlying airports as their temporary bases. When Fondulac filled to capacity, many chose Wautoma. "We hope to see all of those folks back as well as others," said co-manager Jorgensen. "Wautoma is close to the Fisk entry point for AirVenture. It’s a great alternative for those who wish to avoid the masses at Oshkosh, enjoy a friendly open atmosphere and yet stay close to AirVenture. We hope that the new terminal will make Wautoma airport a destination in and of itself in the future."

The terminal building is one of numerous improvements the City had in its planning cycle. Six years ago, an AWOS station was installed, then came a new taxiway system around the hangars. Two years ago a 24/7 automated fuel dispensing system was installed and just prior to the new terminal, the 3,300’ paved runway was resurfaced and painted (there‘s a 2,300 foot grass runway, as well). The resort community of Wautoma treats its airport as one of its economic engines and it shows. More improvements to the airport are planned in the future.

The City invites AirVenture bound pilots to stop in, fuel up or stay at Y50, as their needs dictate.



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