Wisconsin FBO readies for airlift

 - August 3, 2010, 7:07 AM

A small Wisconsin FBO is gearing up for the arrival of as many as 1,200 business aircraft during this year’s PGA Championship, to be held August 12 to 15.
Burrows Aviation, the sole FBO at Sheboygan County Airport (KSBM), will host the bulk of private aircraft carrying golf professionals and spectators headed for this year’s tournament at Kohler’s Whistling Straits. The tournament was last held there in 2004 and drew 94,000 spectators.

For Burrows, which typically handles just a few jets a day, the PGA tournament poses a large logistical challenge. It is drawing support from the PGA, fuel provider BP, other area FBOs, volunteers from the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), local and state law enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration and the FAA.

The PGA has informed Burrows that between 70 and 80 tour professionals will be arriving at the tournament via private aircraft. However, the bulk of the traffic will be tournament spectators. Burrows general manager Mindy Smith says that the FBO is coordinating with BP to ensure adequate fuel and that fuel prices will not be raised during the tournament. She also said that other area FBOs had agreed to loan additional line personnel and that volunteers from the EAA would man the airport’s unicom and provide other services. A variety of security and law enforcement agencies will add personnel on airport and more security cameras will be placed on the airport property.

FAA Management Plan
While Smith said she expects most traffic to be transient, she said ample outdoor parking is available and that it is likely the airport’s shorter runway, the 5,000-foot Runway 13-31, would be turned into parking space should demand warrant. The FAA has published a special traffic management plan (STMP) covering operations during the week of the tournament. Beginning August 7, a temporary FAA control tower will be established at KSBM and it will be in operation mainly during daylight hours until noon on Monday, August 16. The tower’s airspace encompasses a 4-nm radius from the surface to 3,200 feet msl. VFR departures will not be allowed to pick up an airborne IFR clearance within 100 nm of KSBM, and IFR departures must obtain clearance before taxi.

Smith said that major rental car companies would be transferring their fleets assembled for the nearby EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh to KSBM in time for the PGA Championship and that the rental car companies would have additional personnel at the airport during tournament week. However, she strongly encouraged those flying in for the PGA to contact the rental car companies directly as soon as possible rather than wait until arrival.