The Bonne Terre Airport will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend.
“The airport was dedicated on May 11 of 1969, so fortunately May 11 this year is a Saturday,” said owner Steve Vogt. “So we’re going to do a little open house for people to come up and see the airport.”
He said the participants will mostly be groups that frequent the airport for various activities. These include Civil Air Patrol, Eastern Ozark Amateur Radio Club, Mineral Area Search and Rescue, and the Bonne Terre Space Museum. Pilot Randy Callahan will be giving airplane rides for a fee, and members of the St. Louis RC Flying Association will also be in attendance.
There is no set end time for the event, but participants are encouraged to arrive as early as 10 a.m.
“It’s a very low-key event, we’re not getting really wrapped about it, so it’s more of a fun thing for people to come out and have a good time,” Vogt said. “We’re trying to showcase the people that use airport.”
Vogt is also the director of Communications for the Civil Air Patrol, a nonprofit organization tasked by the Air Force to perform most of inland search and rescue missions. In addition to providing disaster relief and participating in search and rescue, they also act as aerospace educators and mentors to younger members.
Mineral Area Search and Rescue are a group of professional trained volunteers that, according to their website, has over 100 years of search and rescue, emergency management, emergency medical services, and fire service experience.
The Eastern Ozark Amateur Radio Club consists of amateur radio operators (hams). Eastern Ozark Amateur Radio Club President Jim White has been a licensed ham operator for six years.
“In today’s electronic do-it-yourself (DIY) environment, ham radio remains one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology and numerous other scientific disciplines, and is a huge asset to any community during disasters or emergencies if the standard communication infrastructure goes down,” he said.