Plans for Gaylord terminal take off

GAYLORD – Construction on a new general aviation terminal for the Gaylord Regional Airport is slated to begin mid- to late-August and will be completed next spring.

The airport, formerly the Otsego County Airport, received funding for the project from federal and state agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as the county airport commission. The total project cost will be about $900,000.

“We’ve been trying to get funding for several years,” airport manager Dave Schuster said. “It’s only been in the past few years that FAA funding has been available for general aviation terminals.”

The terminal will replace the current airport, which will be torn down once construction is done.

“What we have now is a small building that’s been here for about 45 years. (The new terminal) will basically be a replacement for that, but upgraded dramatically,” Schuster said.

The plans for the 5,000 square-foot building were prepared by Bradley J. Butcher and Associates, PC, together with Capital Consultants, both headquartered in Gaylord.

“The plan was developed from a program to accommodate private pilots and their passengers,” Butcher said.

Included in the plans are pilot lounge spaces and a planning room, passenger waiting rooms, a second floor observation space, and an A/V equipped conference facility. Butcher said the plans include cathedral ceilings, natural materials, and many windows.

“The exterior is designed to celebrate Gaylord’s architectural theme,” he said. “It is alpine-inspired.”

The airport will continue to serve only chartered flights and private aircraft, with no immediate plans for commercial service. The new terminal is designed to adapt, however, and could serve as a temporary commercial terminal in the future.

Butcher and Associates has also worked in the Traverse City area, designing residential projects on Grand Traverse Bay, as well as Mudhen Espresso kiosks and a Save-a-Lot store. BN