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Granite Shoals/Bob Sylvester Airpark
Location of Airport
Google Map of Airport
The Airport is in the city limits of Granite Shoals, near Mystic Drive.  

Granite Shoals/Bob Sylvester Airpark

The City of Granite Shoals owns an airport.  Here is our AirNav page.  

The airport has a grass landing strip 2,000 feet long. There is no fuel available at the airport. The Airport is very popular with pilots of ultralights and experimental aircraft, although some larger craft land here.  

There are some tie downs provided.  Soon the City will install some donation boxes to collect the 'Tie-Down' fees of $10.00 per day.  If you plan to stay several days, please contact Mr. Nickel at the City Hall for guidance on Tie-Down Fees.  

Recently, the City's Airport Advisory Committee  installed new safety signage and built a Segmented Circle signal.  

At this time the airport is classified by the FAA as a publicly-owned, 'Private' Airport.  Landings are limited to with permission of the City Manager, Ken Nickel.  He may be reached at 830-598-2424 at City Hall during regular business hours.

The City will soon be applying to the FAA for a change in designation for the airport, changing the 'Private' designation to 'Public'.  Please monitor AirNav for information on this proposed change.    

Picture of the Runway
Runway from South end at ground level
This picture of the Runway was taken in March 2017, from the South end.  

Airpark Improvements
Committee members at work
In March of 2017, members of the city's volunteer Airport Advisory Committee held a 'Work Day' at the Airpark to install the new Segmented Circle signal.  There are more pictures of this event on the Photo Gallery section of the city website under 3-4-2017 date.   Since these pictures were taken, the pavers which make up the signal have been painted a bright white, to make them easier to see.  This signal provides information to pilots regarding the proper airport approach for landing.  

History of the Airport
This airport was originally built in the early sixties, before the City was incorporated.  The purpose of the airport was to bring visitors to the area in the hopes that they would purchase a lot in the Sherwood Shores subdivision.  (For a history of the City, and its unusual beginnings as a large fishing village development, see the City History page on the city website here.)   When the Sherwood Shores Development was legally transferred to the City, in the early seventies, the airport became a city property.  The Council determined at this time that the airport would be dedicated park land.  The airport, therefore, is often called the Airpark, in acknowledgement of the fact it is a proud part of the Park System.  (Granite Shoals is the City of Parks, after all.) 

No discussion of the Airport is complete without mentioning the late Mr. Robert 'Bob' Sylvester. Mr. Sylvester was a retired engineer who graciously donated volunteer time and service to many projects (such as construction of the water tower on Bluebriar), but had a special devotion to the airport.  

Mr. Sylvester acted as a 'Volunteer Airport Manager' for many, many years before his death in 2014.  He maintained grounds and he maintained landing lights.  If it had to do with the airport; Mr. Sylvester had it all under control.  

In February 2015, then Mayor Dennis Maier presented the Sylvester Family with a Mayor's Award in Mr. Sylvester's name.  You can read more about this award here.    

In July 2016 the Airport Advisory Committee unanimously voted to recommend to City Council that the name of the airport be renamed to Granite Shoals/Bob Sylvester Airpark.  This recommendation has been forwarded from the Parks Advisory Committee to the City Council with a favorable recommendation.  The City Council approved a Resolution to formalize the name change on June 13, 2017.  You can see Res. 536

Granite Shoals Airport Advisory Committee

This committee was established by City Council in Spring of 2016.
To read the agendas and the meeting minutes from the meetings of the Airport Advisory Committee, click here.  Here is the first report from the Committee as presented to the City Council in July 2016 by Chair Neil Haverlah. 

AIRPORT ADVISORY COMMITTEE REPORT TO CITY COUNCIL-JULY 26, 2016

PRESENTED BY NEIL HAVERLAH-COMMITTEE CHAIR

This committee was established by City Council to maintain operational data and gather information on the airport to develop plans for maintenance, improvements, and future sources of revenue and uses of the airport. Review planning and zoning to ensure compatibility with the City’s Comprehensive Plan and report to the city Council per ORD 686.  Our Council Liaison is Tom Dillard. 

First meeting was held April 14, 2016. Nominations were made and passed to elect:  Neil Haverlah- Chair, David Dittmar-Vice chair, Sheryl Gardner-Secretary

In this organizing meeting we discussed and looked at zoning maps, airport map, airplane tie-down locations, possible sources of revenue and future items- Beacon, radio communication to coordinate with Sunrise Beach Airport, and need for signs.

May12 Meeting,

Reviewed Bob Sylvester’s detailed drawing of the airport and discussed education and promotion of the airport, zoning issues.

The committee created a collection of priorities:

Education/Promotion of the Airport

              Dispel misconceptions

              Airport Directory listings / Naming Airport / Branding Airport

Zoning Regulations for Hangar Homes

              Overlay District?

              What restrictions exist that prevent Hangar Homes? 

Cut Costs and Recoup Costs for Operation of the Airport

              Improve facilities and processes

              Generate Revenue

              Fuel

              Hangars / Tie-downs

Long-Term Planning

              Longer Runway - 3200' ? 

Committee Projects

              Signage

              Run Up Pad

              Gravel to mitigate the standing water problem

              'Whitewash' the lights

              Sludge Dump?

              Accurate survey / inventory (tools)  Possibly GIS mapping?

Clarity on Public/Private

              FAA / State money availability

              Send recommendations to City Council

             

Record Keeping (improving operations)

Tasks- review codes concerning Hangar Houses and past budgets for the airport.

June 9 Meeting

Discussed physical needs of the airport- maintenance, improvements, mowing, fuel tank/pump, Federal rules to remove the “Private” airport designation to encourage use. Motion made and passed to recommend to City Council to change the designation to “publicly owned, no permission needed to land”.

Discussed budget request for 2017. Passed the motion made by Jeff Hunt of the Budget Sub-Committee to submit a budget of $3500.

Discussed Hangar Houses and the GS Zoning that applies to the airport adjacent properties and proposed a meeting with the code enforcement personnel to be coordinated with Ken Nickel before next committee meeting.

Discussed priorities and rankings-leaving record keeping as lowest for now.

July 14 Meeting

Open meeting with citizen input from Virgil Yanta Sr. and Jr.  Re-iterrated zoning requirements  for building and tree height to be enforced, need to spruce up the airport and surrounding areas,  and zone for hangar houses on both sides.  His comments also included the need for run-up areas to have provision to keep gravel out of the prop during engine testing/run-up. His comments were duly noted as he has been a potential property buyer

Reviewed and renumbered the priorities. Discussed implementation of the top ones.

Discussion on meeting with zoning personnel about hangar houses. The revised rules allow the concept of hangar houses and / or large garages.

CLOSING COMMENTS:  THANKS Neil Haverlah


The Airport / Soccer Fields controversy of 2016
In early 2016, the City Council members briefly entertained the concept of converting the airport into soccer fields for the youth.  At that time, the City had no organized playing fields for any sports.  (Sport fields are a planned part of the Quarry Park Grant which will bring soccer, basketball, softball and pickleball courts to the City, in 2017-2018).  

There was a Special Workshop held on February 9, 2016 to discuss the airport.  You can read background information that was provided to the Council Members for this meeting here.