When the Menominee County Board of Commissioners recently approved a commercial operating agreement with a Green Bay company to provide flight instruction at the Menominee Regional Airport, it may have appeared to be nothing more than an “Oh Hum” move by many people. We beg to differ. To us it was a solid move in the right direction to put some life back into the long-available aviation center of the M&M area.

We need not dwell on the long-suffering frustration of local political leaders, would-be users of the airport, business and community customers of airline traffic, and a host of other potential benefactors who wanted to see the facility put to better use since it was moved from its original M-35 location to the northwest sector of the city of Menominee in the early 1940s. The project developed into a promising, but brief entity for public and private service in our are, following a major expansion and improvement undertaking, but was saddled by luckless changes in the aviation industry, too much political bickering, a handful of pessimistic personalities and budget restraints.

For too many years the airport sat in a lonesome corner of the city and occupied precious grounds that could have been perhaps utilized for housing or commercial development. Things got worse when its long-time partner, Marinette County, pulled out of the two-county ownership agreement because of a few brash and inept county commissioners who were determined to spoil any chances of advancement.

Jason Carviou, county administrator, hammered out an agreement with Pilotsmith Inc., a Green Bay company, to perform flight instruction at the Menominee airport. Pilotsmith is known in the northeastern region of Wisconsin with similar contracts at Green Bay and Appleton. The one-year agreement is a modest business transaction with the potential for growth. The Menominee pact is the first for Pilotsmith in Michigan.

The deal calls for Pilotsmith to pay 1% of its gross revenue to Menominee County, with a minimum of $100 per month. The county will provide hangar space and space for ground instruction. The company also will purchase its fuel from the local airport.

Perhaps the venture will lead to more activity at the airport, like air shows and other aviation events.

Carviou calls the contract agreement “a great partnership” for the local airport. We see it as a good start with the potential for growth. Let’s keep the momentum going.