About the Spencer J. Hardy Airport
The City of Howell was the original owner of what is now the Livingston County Airport. The Howell Airport was originally located where Northwest School and the baseball diamonds are presently sited. The city moved the airport to its current location in the late 1940's.
In the early 1960's, the county purchased the airport (then 60 acres with north/south and east/west crosswind runways) from the city for $1. Shortly thereafter, an additional sixty acres of property were purchased and a paved runway was constructed to a length of 3000 feet.
The present airport terminal building was constructed in the mid 60's with a 50/50 state/local grant. The local match for this building was generated by members of the community using donated materials, labor, and cash.
In the early 1970's, T-Hangars were constructed by a group of individuals who were instrumental in bringing changes to the airport, including the terminal building. A total of 30 T-hangars were available by 1975.
The early 1970's were a time of great change for corporate aviation in that jet engine aircraft were introduced for corporate travel. The first jets came to Livingston County Airport in 1976, with the first two arriving 30 minutes apart. (Livingston County Press, June 2, 1976).
A second box type hangar was constructed on the airport in 1975. This hangar, privately owned and constructed on land leased from the county, is used for storage of both private and corporate aircraft. An engine overhaul shop, a flight school, an aircraft maintenance facility, and a welding/aircraft specialty shop are also housed in this hangar.
A third box type hangar was built in 1988. This hangar was constructed for a flight school and aircraft maintenance facility. The building includes classrooms for student use as well as a lobby area for customers.
In 1988, the runway at the airport was lengthened as advanced corporate aircraft were becoming a common sight on the airport ramp. The runway was extended from 3000' to 4300', with a full length lighted parallel taxiway constructed as part of the same project.
Construction of 100 additional T-hangars on the airport began in 1990. Additional space was also constructed for aircraft tie-down and parking. A Non-Directional Beacon navigational aid was also installed at this time. This nav-aid is useful pilots when instrument conditions exist on the airport.
An Automated Weather Observations System (AWOS) was commissioned at the airport in late 1993. This system measures cloud cover, visibility, temperature, dew point, wind speed and direction, and barometric pressure. Current readings are updated every sixty seconds to ensure pilots have the most current weather conditions available. This data is also used by local schools, law enforcement agencies, farmers, and other members of the community who need access to current weather data.
In 2002, two new corporate hangars totaling 40,000 square feet were constructed on the airport. These new hangars provide both hangar space for aircraft as well as office space for flight schools and aircraft sales offices.
Currently there are over 150 aircraft based at the Livingston County Airport. These range in size and performance from a WWII biplane trainer to a state of the art Cessna Citation Jet. The airport has approximately 40,000 take offs and landings per year, making it one of the busiest in the state.
More than 45 people work for companies who's facilities are located at the airport. These include flight instructors, mechanics, chief pilots, secretaries, and other personnel.
A Community Benefits Assessment, a type of economic impact study, was conducted in 1994 to try to quantify the benefits the community receives from the airport. In economic terms, the benefits to the community included $1.5 million in direct economic impacts and over $25.1 million in total economic benefits to the community. Additional community benefits can be seen in law enforcement, emergency medical transportation, and career training for future aeronautical careers.