MAURICE, Iowa (KSFY) – After a decade of planning and four years of construction, a new regional airport is now open for business in Sioux County, Iowa.
The airport is located between the communities of Sioux Center and Orange City.
The new Sioux County Regional Airport will give business leaders from the agricultural and medical sectors easier access to fly in and out of the area. And if county leaders are right, this new facility will bring new opportunities to Northwestern Iowa.
Across the open farmland of Sioux County, you would typically hear the wind or an occasional cow or two. But, now you’ll hear the sounds of thunderous business jets, nearly two decades in the making.
“It started with a need because both Orange City and Sioux Center existing airports were not adequate anymore,” Harold Schiebout, the Sioux County Regional Airport chairmen, said. “And they served both communities very well during the 45, 50 years of existence.”
The nearly $32 million project will help allow larger aircrafts to land in Sioux County.
“The prior airports Orange City and Sioux Center are about 4,000 feet long and only about 50, 60 feet wide,” Chris Van Ginkel, a chief pilot for Air Faire Air Flair, said. “This airport is 5,500 feet long and 100 feet wide. It has parallel taxiways. So, that will allow much larger business jets to use the airport here.”
The airport had the full backing of the state of Iowa. Governor Kim Reynolds spoke to the nearly 800 who came out to see the official ribbon cutting, along with Boeing Aviation CEO and president Dennis Muilenburg.
A new airport with a longer runway will catch the attention of business owners looking to expand operations, at least county officials hope so.
“The time was right because there were more replacements that were needed and so the time was right to build a new airport and take it to a whole different level where we could serve business jets,” Schiebout said.
“We’re just happy it’s at this point and that we’re here and it’s open, and we’re just looking forward to the future,” Van Ginkel said.
The last time an airport was built in the state of Iowa was back in 1994.