Business View Magazine | April 2021

123 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE APRIL 2021 SAWYER COUNTY A I RPORT “This is Northern Wisconsin,” says Derek Leslie, Airport Manager and owner of the FBO, Hayward Aviation. “We have all four seasons up here and undoubtedly that is one of the reasons why our area attracts people. There are so many different sports and activities you can do in the area. We do have business traffic as well, but a lot of what we see is recreational. The amount of traffic we have is a testament to what people have discovered here in Hayward.” He points out that the airport has done a really good job over the years making sure that there is room for this seasonal traffic. The runway is just over 5,000 feet, great for piston aircraft and just a little tight for the modern jet, but the apron and taxiways make it possible to accommodate more planes than you might expect. “Our biggest season is Memorial Day to Labor Day,” Leslie explains, “and during those times it’s not uncommon to see upwards of 100 jets a week fly in. I often get comments from folks in the commercial charters like NetJets or XO Jet who, when they filed the flight plan, figured Sawyer County had never seen a jet before, and they say how surprised they are that there are so many planes. That just exemplifies what this airport is and what the community does, it draws people in from all over. We work with the Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau and the Hayward Area Chamber of Commerce in terms of promoting the area and they do a really good job in selling the cabin life – you can come here and have a beautiful cabin on the lake and it just makes a wonderful getaway.” Leslie grew up at the airport. His parents ran their own FBO at Sawyer County for most of his life. And he remembers that seven years ago things began to change. There was a concerted effort to modernize the airport as well as increase capacity in a very forward-thinking way. The project focused on getting a full instrument landing system (ILS) installed, as well as