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New runway marks second century of flight in Battle Creek

by Cheryl Roland

July 7, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of WMU aircraft, Cirrus SR20.
Cirrus SR20
KALAMAZOO--Just over 100 years after the first plane touched down in Battle Creek, the beginning of a new century of flight will get under way with the opening of a new runway at W.K. Kellogg Airport during a ribbon-cutting ceremony set for 2 p.m. today.

A 4,100-foot runway parallel to the airport's main runway will formally open with a ceremony and brief remarks by Battle Creek Transportation Director Larry Bowron; Battle Creek Mayor Susan Baldwin; Michigan Rep. Kate Segal; Mike Trout, executive administrator of the MDOT Office of Aeronautics; Jim Burnham, chair of the Airport Advisory Commission and Capt. Dave Powell, dean of the Western Michigan University College of Aviation, which is located at the airport.
During the ceremony, Bowron will inform FAA officials in the airport tower that the new parallel runway is officially open. The first plane to land will be one of WMU's Cirrus SR20s, piloted by WMU Chief Flight Instructor Thomas Grossman and Flight Instructor Michael Schwartz.  
The event comes four days after the 100th anniversary of the landing of the first airplane in Battle Creek. That July 3, 1911, flight touched down north of Goguac Lake. A College of Aviation display includes a copy of a postcard marking the historic event.
For more information about the event contact the airport office at (269) 966-3470.