Rushford pilot has airport named after him - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rushford pilot has airport named after him


A retired pilot received a great honor Saturday morning: he had an airport named after him.

The Rushford Municipal Airport is now the Robert W. Bunke Field. Bunke is actually one of the main reasons why Rushford even has an airport.

The now-retired pilot was traveling from Des Moines to Rochester in 1966 when he spotted the field that is now Rushford's Municipal Airport. He realized an airport would be important to the community, and began a 10 year quest to make that possible.
That included many presentations to the city, county, and state authorities to acquire the land and get state funding.

"An airport in an asset to a community. Sometimes it's a kind of a hidden asset but, more people fly in here than people realize because you just don't see them all come in, and I think it's just a wonderful asset to the community, I really do," said Bunke.

Bunke worked with community and state leaders until the airport was licensed by the Minnesota Department of Aeronautics and dedicated in 1977. The runway of the airport, which used to be grass, is now an improved asphalt runway.

A letter sent to Rushford's Mayor at the time stated, "Build a mile of highway and you drive a mile. Build a mile of runway, and you fly the world."

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