More than 750 people gathered on Wednesday to mark the grand opening of a regional airport that will fuel growth and national connections to northwest Iowa.
Gov. Kim Reynolds flew in for the ribbon cutting of the Sioux County Regional Airport, a nearly $32 million joint project by Orange City, Sioux Center and Sioux County. The Federal Aviation Administration and Iowa Department of Transportation were key partners in the project.
“You’ve accomplished a great project that will be an important asset for the state,” Reynolds said during the ceremony. “In order to grow, we must be able to effectively move people and products to places and customers outside the state, and the regional airport will help us do just that from an important high-output area of Iowa.”
The new airport boasts a 5,500-foot runway, a parallel taxiway, a terminal, multiple hangars, fueling systems, safety approach lighting, a weather observation station, and additional airport features. The regional airport is home to a charter flight service, six private hangars and additional leased hangar spaces. Thirty-five airplanes are expected to be housed at the site.
Keynote speaker Dennis Muilenburg, Chairman, President and CEO of Boeing and a Sioux County native, said Iowa connections are important to his company, with 35 of its supply chain members in this state, including in Sioux County.
“I’m convinced that this airport is only going to add to that economic energy. It’s only going to add to that growth. This is a great investment for the future,” Muilenburg said. “‘The future is built here,’ that’s the Boeing branded line, but I can say just seeing the airport and the turnout here today, you can tell the future is being built here in Sioux County as well.”
Sioux County Regional Airport Agency Board Chairman Harold Schiebout expressed gratitude for all those that took part in the grand opening.
“Seeing everyone there was really overwhelming and wonderful. It was a great opportunity for the public to see what this project was about,” Schiebout said. “This day was the culmination of a lot of planning and vision, working together, and developing relationships. There were a lot of people who put effort into the project along the way, especially to get it done on time, fully operational and ready to welcome flights to the region.”
Photo: Dennis Muilenburg, Sioux County native and CEO of Boeing, speaks at the Sioux County Regional Airport grand opening.