Town eying third apron at airport

The town has earmarked $208,000 in the 2003 budget for the construction of a third apron at the Fort Frances Airport—if a deal can be struck with a Minneapolis-based company.
Airport superintendent Bill Caul said Friday a company called Wipaire Inc. has expressed some interest in setting up a satellite station here.
“We haven’t had a meeting yet. We have sent a letter requesting we have a meeting, though,” Caul remarked.
“We needed a commitment from the town. I couldn’t negotiate with him [R.D. Wiplinger] and then not have a place to put him,” he added.
Wipaire Inc. designs and builds amphibious floats for aircraft. The satellite station here would provide aircraft conversion and maintenance.
Construction of the third apron would proceed when an agreement was reached with Wipaire Inc. to establish a base at the airport.
The apron would be 1,000 feet long by 50 feet wide. The length of the apron is based on the concept of having four 100’x100’ hangar lots on one side of the apron, with the other side accommodating larger structures.
As there is no sewer and water at the airport, sufficient space would have to be allowed between building for fire protection and the installation of sewer and water.
Caul noted it would be most cost-effective to build the full 1,000-foot apron at one time as opposed to in stages.
Having the full apron completed also means it would be in place for any other clientele that may be considering setting up at the airport.