Michigan’s W.K. Kellog Airport in Battle Creek now sustains in excess of 1,500 aviation jobs, with the opening of its brand new runway on Thursday.
The runway – the airport’s second – was first proposed nearly a decade ago, after increased air traffic in the Southern Michigan region lead to significant capacity problems and limitations. Officials behind the runway project said that they were first aware of the problematic popularity in 2001, and in 2003 plans for the new runway were given the go ahead.
Battle Creek Transportation Director, Larry Bowron, said that the runway will be a significant benefit to the whole of the Battle Creek community, not least of all because of the new ground crew jobs and aviation maintenance jobs it has created, which number in their hundreds.
“It’s important for Battle Creek because the airport is one of the largest sources of economic development for the city, it has over 1,500 jobs, we’re land rich,” he said. “We can continue to attract large corporations like Duncan Aviation, the College of Aviation, additional military units. We have a lot of room to grow.”
The project saw $25 million poured in to the airport and its facilities. The new runway will slowly be brought into service, and will be ready for full use in a few months.