County airport manager to step down

Local News

DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Mike Vadeboncoeur, who’s managed the Vermilion County Airport for over two years, is stepping down from his seat.

He says he’s presenting his resignation to the airport board at Tuesday’s meeting. Additionally, his last day will be Dec. 15.

Vadeboncoeur says it was an honor to manage the airport, adding he has nothing but respect for the board and its leadership.

The airport manager says his history there began in the 1970’s as a child active in the local Experimental Aircraft Association chapter. He was asked in June 2018 to fill the vacant manager position.

Since then, the manager says they’ve had several nice events at the airport — before COVID-19 hit, of course.

“Working with the staff for Balloons over Vermilion is something we always enjoy, but another really special event was hosting the Commemorative Airforce Tour in September of 2018 which featured one of the world’s two flyable B-29 bombers,” Vadeboncoeur says.  “They were here with several other WWII-type aircraft selling rides and ground tours.”

He says people may likely see more of those types of events in the future.

In his run as a manager, Vadeboncoeur says they also brought their turf runway back into service — which will attract many kinds of vintage airplanes that prefer grass over tarmac surfaces.

The airport has also been busy remodeling it’s old airport terminal, he says, which has been used for event rentals.

“We are working to bring back the airport terminal theme along with a tribute to Bill Britt who started here in Danville and ultimately built his own Airline Britt Airways,” Vadeboncoeur says. “Along with the Britt theme, we plan on having a local aviation history section inside telling the stories of several airport business past and present.” 

He says he will continue running Midwest Areo Restorations at the airport, which rehabs vintage aircraft. It’s mainly known for its P-51 Mustang, he says.

“We are currently nearing the final stages of an extremely rare Messerschmidt ME109G that was shot down during WWII and raised from a freshwater lake in western Russia,” Vadeboncoeur says. “This will be the only original  WWII combat veteran ME109G in the world when completed.”

Airport Board President Jonathan Myers says they will determine how to move forward with the vacancy at Tuesday’s meeting, adding they are looking for a full-time manager.

Myers says they expect to open for applications in the next day or tow.

“The board is ambitious in improving the airport and community outreach, so we’re looking for a full-time manager to share that vision and move forward,” he says.

“Mike did an excellent job,” Myers adds.

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