Nov. 28, 2018

Community support for businesses throughout northwestern Iowa helped drive the creation of Sioux County Regional Airport (SXK). The new field, which opened earlier this month, offers a 5,500-by-100 runway and full-length taxiway, as well as a 5,400-square-foot terminal building and hangar facilities for use by a diverse range of users and tenants.

Located roughly halfway between Sioux Center and Orange City, SXK celebrated its grand opening Nov. 14. The new airport features six purpose-built hangars for business aircraft, including two local aerial application operators and Orange City-based paint supplier Diamond Vogel. The field’s FBO eases two additional hangars for its charter, maintenance and flight training operations, with 24 T-hangar spaces available for aircraft owners.

Harold Schiebout, chairman of the Sioux County Regional Airport Agency, said the new facility will ultimately replace two smaller airports in the neighboring communities of Sioux Center (SOY) and Orange City (ORC). Built in the 1960s, both fields are constrained by runway length and surrounding development, limiting accessibility.

“Those airports have served us well over the past 50 years,” he explained. “They helped existing businesses grow and bring new industries to our area. However, we identified a need for a greater level of service, safety and convenience.”

Talk of a larger airport began in 1999, and in 2004 the two cities partnered with Sioux County officials to spur development of the new facility. “Our communities may compete for economic development, but we’ve developed a great partnership out of our shared desire to see our region grow,” Schiebout said. “We’ve got a great mix of tenants.”

Among the goals for the new airport were improved accessibility for larger turbine aircraft used by area businesses and regional air ambulance operations. In addition to the larger runway, a private fundraising effort brought more than $750,000 to install an approach lighting system for improved visibility to the field in low ceiling conditions.

Schiebout further noted the FAA recently completed survey flights for the field’s instrument approaches, which should be available when SXK appears on published aeronautical charts early next year.