The Manitowish Waters Airport was established in 1945. This came to be because of a federal law, the Airways and Airport Act. This Act made funding available at a split of federal at 90 percent, state at five percent and a five percent obligation for the sponsor, which was the Town of Manitowish Waters.
The small town of Manitowish Waters, which in 1945 was about 175 citizens, agreed an airport was needed and with the state and federal funding was a possibility. It was with the foresight of community activists and local aviators that this airport came to be.
With its early years, the airport was a humble landing strip with turf Runway 4/22. Through the years, two additional runways were added. Eventually one was decommissioned and the other became our paved Runway 32/14. In the early days of the airport’s evolution there were DC-3s and B-25s landing here. Keep in mind that Runway 4/22 is only 3,350 feet long.
The turning point for the airport came in the 1980s with an asphalt Runway 32/14 and an endowment for a new terminal. Again, it was the local aviation community who joined forces to get the project done. This resulted in a brand new terminal building complete with pilots lounge and conference room. Since the 80’s we have added to it with a kitchenette and upgraded furniture and carpet.
Today we have 36 private hangars and one block of five 50-foot by 50-foot town-owned hangars available for lease. The town hangars were built in 2010, again leveraging state and federal funding. As of this writing , there is no hangar space available at the Manitowish Waters Airport. We are full. However, we welcome any pilot looking to find a new home. We have land available for private hangar construction and welcome you. Just tell us your needs. We also have an aircraft maintenance shop on the field with flight instruction available.
The airport has GPS approaches for Runway 32/14, PAPI for Runway 32 and AWOS-3. We also have a courtesy car and bicycles available to our transient users since the airport sees a wide variety of aircraft users from Piper J3 Cubs to small business jets and Part 135 turbo props.
Going forward, we are in the process to reconstruct Runway 32/14 with adding over-runs with displaced thresholds along with ramp and/or taxiway resurface.
Please stop in and pay us a visit, we look forward to meeting you.
Authored by Mark A. Riegelman, Manitowish Waters Airport Manager