Chippewa Valley Regional Airport History
CVRA is built upon years of hard work and dedication. At one time, three airports operated in Eau Claire. Today, as the largest airport in Northern Wisconsin, CVRA provides air travel for counties across Northwestern Wisconsin and Eastern Minnesota.
Guy Wood, Leo McDonald and M.A. Sine organized the Eau Claire Airplane Corporation and leased 80 acres on a bluff (Putnam Heights, south of downtown and State Street).
Ford Reliability Tours demonstrated several newly designed aircraft to communities across Wisconsin. Eau Claire was a stopping point during the tour.
J.R. Davis, E.R. Hamilton and John Simpson organized Eau Claire Airways, a full-service operation, with a flight school and taxi service to the Twin Cities, La Crosse, Wausau, Madison and Milwaukee.
The State of Wisconsin first enacted legislation to regulate aeronautics.
Efforts started to build a new airport on Eau Claire's north side (the site of the current airport).
Eau Claire Municipal Airport opened at its present site. At the time, it consisted of a simple runway, surrounded by farmland and wooded area.
Eau Claire Municipal Airport announced its formal opening on July 29, 1945 with an afternoon air show. The airport opened with limited operations and two 4,000-foot long runways still under construction.
Original facilities were constructed at our current location. Initially, the airport consisted of runway 4/22, 4,300 feet in length, and runway 14/32, 4,100 feet in length. Taxiways were provided to the ends of 22 and 32, and a terminal complex was erected consisting of an aircraft parking apron, a Quonset-style building and two aircraft hangars.
The new airport was officially dedicated with a ceremony featuring Northwest Airlines DC-3 aircraft.
A second paved aircraft apron, an entrance road, T-hangar and approach zone property were added.
The terminal area was improved to accommodate increasing passenger service for Chippewa, Dunn and Eau Claire Counties.
The C-row T-Hangars were constructed.
Eau Claire County acquired ownership of Eau Claire Municipal Airport from the City of Eau Claire and the D and E rows of T-Hangars were constructed.
An addition was put on the terminal building, which was constructed in the 1960's.
A fire station was constructed on the Airport to meet FAA requirements.
Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors created the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport Commission.
An addition was put on the maintenance building that was originally constructed in 1978.
Ownership and Operation Agreement (five-year) was entered into and executed by County Board Chairs of Chippewa, Dunn and Eau Claire Counties.
Chippewa, Dunn and Eau Claire Counties entered into their second ownership and operation agreement.
The Chippewa Valley's first Airport Traffic Control Tower opened on November 1, 2006. In April 2008, it became fully funded under the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Contract Tower Program. The tower is operated by Midwest Air Traffic Control under a contract with the FAA.
The Chippewa Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America put on the first annual Chippewa Valley Airshow featuring the US Navy Blue Angels, September 13-14, 2008. This is not the first Airshow at the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport, but it is the first one organized by the Scouts. The Chippewa Valley Airshow was awarded the Blue Angels Airshow of the Year Award.
Chippewa and Eau Claire Counties entered into their third five year ownership and operation agreement.
The CVRA terminal development project began with the ground breaking for Phase I on December 15, 2008. Phase I expanded the secured passenger waiting area to include seating for current demand and added post-security restroom facilities. The old secured passenger hold room had seating for 28 and our smallest aircraft held 34 plus charger flights of 150-180. A large part of the remaining terminal building was remodeled in this phase including replacement of the HVAC controls and equipment with high efficiency equipment. The project is a registered Focus on Energy project also includes other energy saving measures such as day lighting controls and occupancy sensors. As a result of the project, the building has also become ADA compliant and meets current building codes. Phase I also included a complete reconstruction of the terminal parking facility, which is also almost 30 years old. The project also added automated parking revenue controls to the facility so passengers can finally pay using credit cards. A ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate completion of Phase I of the terminal development project was held on December 15, 2009.
The Airport once again hosted the Chippewa Valley Airshow featuring the US Navy Blue Angels in June 2010. The Chippewa Valley Airshow was again operated by the Chippewa Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
United Express began all jet service from the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport to Chicago O'Hare on March 1, 2010. This is the first time in many years that the airport has had service to any destination other than Minneapolis-St. Paul. Delta Airlines discontinued service to Minneapolis on April 20, 2010.
A ribbon cutting for the second and final phase of the airline terminal development project was held on July 20, 2011. This phase of the project added a passenger boarding bridge and baggage carousel, among other things. The second phase of the project began in September 2010.
Chippewa and Eau Claire Counties entered into their fourth five year ownership and operation agreement.
The Duax Commission Room was named after long time aviation enthusiast and airport supporter, David Duax.
The Chippewa Valley Airshow featuring the US Navy Blue Angels was held at the airport over the July 4th weekend. The Airshow drew in a record crowd on the fourth of July and earned the organizers the Blue Angels Airshow of the Year award.
The Runway 04 threshold was relocated resulting in an additional 400 feet for landing on Runway 04. This increased the landing distance available for Runway 04 from 7,301’ to 7,701’.