WILLMAR -- Mayor Frank Yanish announced today the Federal Aviation Administration has approved the city of Willmar's request for the first of a three-phase land release of the old airport property.
"We're just pleased to announce that we finally do have the land release on the first phase and that it will be approximately 90 acres,'' Yanish said.
A letter dated Tuesday from Steven J. Obenauer, manager of the Federal Aviation Administration's Minneapolis Airports District Office, to City Administrator Charlene Stevens releases the horseshoe-shaped property located east of County Road 5, north of Willmar Avenue and south of Highway 12.
"It has been determined that the land to be released is not needed for present or foreseeable airport purposes and such release will not materially or adversely affect the use, operation or maintenance of the airport,'' wrote Obenauer.
The first phase has been platted into lots for development and expansion of the city's industrial park.
Stevens said the city has submitted paperwork to FAA for release of the second phase, located west of County Road and covering about 190 acres.
Stevens said the first phase does not include the old terminal building and surrounding property. Release of the terminal and property are included in the third and final phase of the land release, which involves about 550 acres and includes much of the old runway and clear zones. That land release probably won't happen until early 2013, Stevens said.