Camdenton is currently in the midst of upgrading the airport runway to a 5,000 ft length, which would further allow business to come in and out.

In March, Camdenton Mayor John McNabb proclaimed the month as “General Aviation Appreciation Month”. According to the Alliance for Aviation Across America, general aviation airports support an annual economic impact of over $857 million. However, it’s easy to write off a small municipal airport such as the one in Camdenton as nothing more than a location for special interests. Now, in its 70th year since opening, the airport is looking to take and even larger role in Camdenton.

Corey Leuwerke, manager of Camdenton Memorial Airport, has been working in the field of aviation for almost two decades. He began his work flying charter flights and took a larger role at the airport in 2007. Since then, he says his main goal was to find what roles best represented the airport and tweak them to keep evolving the site. 

Leuwerke says that the biggest use of the airport, and the thing that most public members don’t often see, is the access for businesses. He says the airport allows businesses to bring in big shipments and have quick access to make things more readily available. 

Camdenton is currently in the midst of upgrading the airport runway to a 5,000 ft length, which would further allow business to come in and out. Some corporate jets are only allowed to land on this size runway, widening the available passage for bigger planes. Once completed, McNabb says that the runway will open up more people in town and more need for lodge, food service and more. He even expects a possible shuttle service once completed to and from different Camdenton locations such as Old Kinderhook. 

“We appreciate the help the city has given us, these changes are a long time coming,” Leuwerke said.

Another key use of the airport is a quick to and from for second home owners during the summer months. By having this secondary traveling method to the lake, it helps control overflow of vehicles during the busier times of the year. He says he hopes to see the charter service return and be more readily available for cheap, quick flights. 

McNabb says one of the main reasons he proclaimed the month as such was to better recognize the importance of these sorts of airports. Due to the high economic improvement it brings to the lake, he says the continued development of the airport and the support it receives from the city are crucial. 

Outside of the economic and travel uses the airport brings, McNabb says that airport staff including Leuwerke do a great job opening the site up to community events. Through hosting the airshow, sponsoring the young eagles program and working with the scouts, McNabb says the airport becomes a hub for the community to experience new things.