Platteville Municipal Airport manager James Hughes retired June 30 after 14 years at the airport.
When Hughes began in 2001, the airport housed five aircraft. The airport now has 35 airplanes based there. Fuel sales went from minimal to more than 60,000 gallons a year.
Hughes ran a flight school and aircraft rental service at the airport to better serve aviation needs. He had two mechanics and a flight instructor on duty, and purchased five aircraft for training, three of them available at the same time. The airport also added three private hangars, 16 T-hangars, the self-serve fuel system, Automated Weather Observation System, GPS approaches on all four runways, addition of Jet-A fuel, and new maintenance equipment. Runway 15–30 and both taxiways were repaved as well.
Hughes was also actively involved in events held at the airport, including Federal Aviation Administration safety seminars, National Weather Service seminars, airport tours, EAA Young Eagle Flights, pancake breakfasts (the next of which is Sunday from 7 a.m. to noon), chili suppers and fish boils.
“I am very proud of our achievements and growth,” he said. “The Platteville airport is capable of future expansion and advancements, which I hope will continue on through the years.”
The City of Platteville is currently in the process of hiring a new airport manager.