Facilities improve Cavanaugh Bay Airport services
Camping services at Idaho’s state-owned Cavanaugh Bay Airport reached new levels this summer with completion of new facilities that cater to pilots and passengers.
An outdated World War II-era Quonset hut was removed and replaced with new men’s and women’s restrooms and showers that are handicap accessible.
“The modular building will be of great value to fly-in campers at Cavanaugh Bay,” explains Gary McElheney, airport maintenance manager for ITD. “The project took a lot of hard work from airport maintenance personnel and two years of capital funding to complete. This, plus the newly replanted grass on the runway, brings Cavanaugh Bay up to first-class recreation airport status.”
Replacing the Quonset hut with a more modern facility complements improvements made last year. Volunteers and Aeronautics personnel hauled topsoil, graded the grass airstrip and reseeded it to make the surface smoother and safer for aviators.
Located at the south end of Priest Lake, about 20 miles northwest of Sandpoint, the airstrip is a popular overnight spot for pilots. The pristine airstrip has about five campsites and a new shop.
The upgraded facility will accommodate seasonal use of the airstrip. Although the airstrip is accessible by cars and is located near a commercial marina at Priest Lake, the intent is to limit camping facilities to aviators.
A resident caretaker is responsible for general maintenance and upkeep of the airstrip and campgrounds during seasonal use. Cavanaugh Bay is closed during the winter. Local snowmobilers use the area next to the airstrip as part of a winter trail system.
The round-roofed Quonset building that once was part of the Farragut Naval Training Center at Lake Pend Oreille.
Although the building has served recreationists well, it holds much more appeal for its history. To preserve that heritage, ITD donated it to a local museum.