October 27 2017

Paved Runway 11-29 Opening

Close up of new paved runway 11-29
Attendees gather at the end of the runway for the opening ceremony on Oct. 26, 2017.

In November 2017, our airport will celebrate its 75th anniversary with 45 years of this managed by the Gallatin Airport Authority Board.  The very first Gallatin Airport Authority Board consisted of individuals, John Buttleman, Gardner Waite, Howard Nelson, William Merrick and Zales Ecton with Airport Manager, Frank Wolcott.  These five forward thinking individuals were responsible for the very first Airport Master Plan utilizing the talents of TAP Incorporated and Morrison Maierle for what was then called Gallatin Field.  This Master Plan was completed in 1972 and included the first vision of the parallel paved runway we dedicate today, 45 years later.  In 2006, Gallatin Airport Authority Board members, John McKenna, Steve Williamson, Richard Roehm, Greg Metzer and Eric Hastings along with Airport Director Ted Mathis commissioned a follow-up master plan that then further clarified this runway and established it ultimate location and intended use, separating smaller and slower moving aircraft from larger and faster moving aircraft during peak periods. Today, Airport Board Members, Carl Lehrkind, IV, Kendall Switzer, Karen Stelmak, Kevin Kelleher and Ted Mathis and Airport Director Brian Sprenger are fortunate to see the completion of this project in the works for the past 45 years.  We are fortunate to have had and continue to have Airport Boards and Management that have the foresight to see into the future and plan accordingly. 

Today we must also thank all those who have helped in making this first new runway in Montana in over 30 years a reality.  We wish to thank our engineers from Morrison Maierle, Scott Bell, Mark Maierle and their staff, our Contractor, Riverside Contracting, as well as their sub-contractors, South Hills Electric and Arrow Striping.  We must also thank the FAA,
First take-off on runway 11-29 by Tim Linn
Chuck Garrison and Joe Nye for working with us on all the necessary planning and funding for the runway and the assistance of Senator Daines and Senator Tester in ensuring airport expansions are funded through the Airport Improvement Program.  We also want to thank Ted Mathis for performing the first test flight for the new runway inspecting the vertical guidance system and today’s first take-off by Tim Linn in his Cessna 195 and today’s first landing by Ben Walton of Summit Aviation in one of their DA42 Diamond Twin Star.  Finally, we want to thank our community for their continued support and use of Montana’s busiest Airport.

First landing on runway 11-29 by Ben Walton of Summit Aviation

Runway facts:
• First new runway in Montana in over 30 years
• Total Cost – Approximately $7 million (Runway, parallel taxiway system, connecting taxiways, lighting, PAPI (Precision Approach Path Indicator)
• Length/width – 5,050’ x 75’
• Designed to serve B-II small aircraft and separate these aircraft from the faster moving jet aircraft using the main runway

Aerial image showing new paved runway 11-29.

June 18, 2024
, 6/18/2024