CADILLAC — When it comes to an issue regarding unmanned flight at the Wexford County Airport, the Wexford County Board of Commissioners are concerned with one thing and one thing only — liability.
As a result, the board voted 8-0, with commissioner Mike Bengelink absent, to write a response letter to correspondence received stating the board will only get involved with unmanned aircraft flight at the Wexford County Airport if liability becomes an issue. In addition to resident and pilot William Paul, who wrote the original correspondence, the letter will be sent to the Wexford County Airport Authority.
Last month this topic arose when members of the Cadillac Area Modelers Society attended the Jan. 16 board of commissioners meeting and also submitted a letter penned by group member Toby Danford.
In the letter, Danford said the correspondence was written to address concerns that were brought to the attention of the commissioners. Those concerns included multiple safety issues. First, Danford wrote that no drones would be flown by CAMS members at the airport. He also wrote there would be designated days and times that CAMS would use the runway.
Last fall, CAMS obtained permission from the Wexford County Airport Authority to build a 125-foot-wide, 600-foot-long runway for club use. The Wexford County Airport is jointly owned by Wexford County and the city of Cadillac.
The runway was built across from Aunt Millie’s, which is located west of the airport’s main entrance on Boon Road.
Although the club will still make use of its field in Tustin, last fall club members said the wide-open airport is ideal for training purposes and for members who use liquid fuel, which produces a louder sound than electric-powered devices.
Even though the club was given approval by the airport authority to build the runway, it will be the club’s responsibility to maintain it and ensure members abide by FAA standards, which includes not flying devices higher than 400 feet.