Portage Common Council resolution considers airport shutdown, site redevelopment 

Two members of the Portage Common Council have proposed a resolution that could determine the future of the city’s airport as the land is eyed for potential development, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. The resolution, to be taken up by the council today, does not yet call for the closing of the Portage Municipal Airport, but it would direct city staff to inquire with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Wisconsin DOT’s Bureau of Aeronautics about the process of an airport shutdown.

A separate measure also scheduled for a vote today would abolish the Portage Airport Commission, which oversees the airport’s management and operation.

The resolution’s authors, Allan Radant, District 1, and Eric Shimpach, District 6, are considering the airport as a site for future development and tax revenue. The resolution would also free up 75 acres across the street from the airport, which currently are in the path of the runway and cannot be developed.

The Portage Municipal Airport operates the only paved runway in the county and averages around 91 aircraft operations per week. It has had more than 130 operations this month. The airport’s longest runway is 3,770 feet, which limits use of the runways and hangers to smaller jets and planes. The airport does not receive federal funding and thus is not required to meet all FAA guidelines. A new airport would cost upwards of $3 million and could take nearly 20 years to build.