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New Cache airport manager touts economic promise, expansion

September 10th, 2011 Posted in Business

By Todd Hamann

NORTH LOGAN—The new manager of the Logan-Cache Airport is settling in to his new digs and dreaming big. Stu Hunsaker became airport manager in June and is pushing for a new image of Cache Valley’s only public airport.

“We want to be perceived as the most important main street in Cache Valley,” Hunsaker said. He said the airport contributes an estimated $5 billion annually to the local economy.

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The airport is the base for four private jets and a fifth coming soon. “Most of those jets are chartered for the USU football and basketball teams,” Hunsaker explained. The airport also houses an additional nine corporate twin-engine planes, with an average of 11 corporate flights per week.

There are 137 total aircraft and 78 hangars at the airport, which employs 56 people and is home to three flight training schools (Leading Edge, Mountain Ridge Helicopters and Utah State University). Also on the grounds is the Utah Jet Center, used primarily as a fueling operation. The airport is equipped to handle airplanes as large as Boeing 737-800s.

Hunsaker came to work at the airport from Utah Valley University, where he worked as a certified AMP mechanic on the UVU air fleet, a skill set he will use at Logan-Cache Airport. “My position is an operations position, so if something breaks down, I jump in and help,” he said.

Far from running the show at the airport, he said with smile, “I think the show is running me.”

Among Hunsaker’s plans for the airport is a change in how people think about airplave travel. “We want to change the image of aviation,” he said. “There is a perception that only the rich can fly. That needs to be debunked in the worst way.”

Hunsaker’s efforts are being noticed as well. Gar Walton, a member of the airport board, said the new manager is motivated. “He’s jumping right in on issues he thinks are important with enthusiasm,” Walton said. “He’s getting a good grasp of the airport and how it operates.”

James Gale, a certified flight instructor with USU’s Aviation Technology program, agrees. “He’s a good guy,” he said.

The airport’s future focus may involve the north airport tower. “Utah Jet Center owns the tower,” Hunsaker said, “but there has been some talk and if the airport gets it back we might turn it into a public observation area and a museum.”

The airport was a flight training military facility for the Army Air Corps during World War II, Hunsaker said, so it would appropriate to honor that history with a museum.


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