MASON C I TY MUNI C I PAL A I RPORT We have an event at our Airport, every month, that is self-supported by the pilot population. It’s called the Third Thursday Burger Burn. Every single month on the third Thursday, it is an unofficial fly-in. It’s been going on now for six or seven years. At this Burger Burn, if the weather’s good, you can have 40 or 50 airplanes and hundreds of people show up from all around the Midwest. It’s kind of incredible to see. It’s a fun get together and it’s become famous around the aviation community - at least in the Midwest.” Going forward, Sims says that in addition to developing more hangar space in order to accommodate additional home-based GA aircraft at Mason City, part of a Master Plan study that the Airport completed a few years ago, included the desire to grow its commercial passenger traffic. “Over the last two years, we had just over 8,000 passenger enplanements on Air Choice One,” he notes. “We’d like to see that number grow past 10,000 and become a primary service Airport again. Once you pass or Minneapolis (we’re located about halfway between them), but for our area, we are the largest commercial airport in north central Iowa.” Regarding the Airport’s geographical footprint, Sims says, “Right now, we have plenty of excess land within our current perimeter that we already own – 300 acres of land that is currently in crop production, right now. As far as expanding further, we’re surrounded by crop land on three sides. So, if we ever had a need for expansion, we could look into purchasing additional land, but we don’t have plans for that in the near future.” Sims notes that the Mason City Airport is unique in one major aspect. “In our area, and in general aviation nationwide, all we hear is there are less people flying and that general aviation is in decline,” he relates. “But here, we have our fixed-base operator, North Iowa Air Service, which offers aircraft rental and flight instruction and all the flight instructors we have are just as busy. And most of our GA aircraft are very active.