An airport’s story: Luverne Municipal Airport

Aerial view of Luverne Minnesota airport
Photo: Luverne Municipal Airport

Nestled in the southwest corner of Minnesota, the Luverne Municipal Airport stands as a testament to the region’s growing interest in aviation. The airport boasts two well-maintained runways, houses more than 20 aircraft, and serves as the base for private skydiving company “Skydive Adventures.” 

Managed by Ben Baum since 2011, this small yet vibrant airport has witnessed a remarkable surge in activity over the past five years, presenting both opportunities and challenges for its management. As interest in aviation continues to rise, the need for hangars to house airplanes has become increasingly pressing. 

“Aviation has really exploded over the past five years, so trying to get hangars [built] to house all the airplanes has been the biggest challenge of our airport,” Baum says. 

Despite this, the management team has made significant strides expanding hangar facilities to accommodate the growing number of aircraft. In 2023, a set of four new hangars was completed, providing much-needed space for aircraft storage. Looking ahead, the airport has plans to construct a six-bay unit in 2025 to further meet the growing demand.

Beyond the efforts to add hangars, the airport recently completed a notable project with the installation of P608H asphalt treatment on its taxiway.

“It [P608H] was a new product. It had just been certified and we wanted to be one of the first to have it on because of the benefits we've heard from our engineering team,” Baum says. So the airport management team jumped at the opportunity to try it. 

This specialized treatment, designed to minimize raveling and weathering distress on structurally sound runways, offers a thicker and heavier alternative to standard treatments. Although a relatively new treatment, initial feedback has been positive, with users praising its grip and durability, especially during adverse weather conditions.

“So far, everybody who has been on[s] about how sticky it is. It’s very grippy,” says Baum. “When it’s like this and has all that grit in it, it helps with the plane staying straight.” 

Adding this treatment is a proactive approach toward improving the longevity and durability of the airport’s pavement, Baum adds. The treatment was finished in October 2023. 

“As of now, we haven’t had it through the height of flying season,” Baum says, but he remains optimistic about the quality of the treatment. “It held up through the plowing season, which most asphalt coatings do not.”

—Emma McIntyre is the CTS communications intern.


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