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Don McPherson of Minute Man Air Field (All-New Episode)

Program: 
Date: 
Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 10:00pm

In an all-new “The Business Beat,” Steve D’Agostino interviews Don McPherson, who runs Minute Man Air Field in Stow. They talk about running a local business with an “economy, community, environment” pledge.

Minute Man Air Field is a rarity – it’s still a family-run operation. Don McPherson runs the Air Field while his wife, Nancy runs Nancy’s Airfield Cafe. Minute Man has a 2,800-foot paved, lighted, instrument runway and a 1-600-foot visual runway, and is known as the I-495 region’s “24 hour, All-Weather, Public Use Airport.”

Started by local pilots in 1963 as a 1,700-foot grass landing strip known as Erikson Field, the airport was purchased by Paul McPherson in 1966. Paul and his son, Don, paved and extended the runway to 2,000 feet, added a parallel taxiway and tie-downs for 50 planes, installed AVGAS pumps, and constructed the Operations Building.

The former grass strip was re-opened as Minute Man Air Field in 1969.Paul’s wife and daughter also opened a small coffee shop on the field, called “Peg’s Place,” making Minute Man Air Field truly a family-run business. Over the decades, the airport has added aircraft-maintenance and -storage hangars, a runway extension, a second cross-wind runway, and aircraft-parking aprons, and has upgraded the fuel storage facility to Massachusetts environmental standards.

In the early ‘90s, 100 acres of land, destined to be a housing development, were added to the field’s land holdings, providing additional buffer between the airfield and its residential neighbors. The land was purchased with state and federal grant funding. Now, the open space is being farmed, and serves as home to many species of wildlife.

All of this enables Minute Man Air Field to honor its “economy, community, environment” pledge.

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