WMAA City of Zeeland Reps

April 2014 – Our Board of Directors is comprised of residents and businesspeople that live and work in our community to provide regional direction and support for the WMRA that serves an entire region. In this eNews edition, we’ve asked our three WMAA representatives from the City of Zeeland to reflect on their role with the Authority.

WMAA Zeeland Reps

Tim Klunder, City of Zeeland Manager and WMAA Board Chair:
“Zeeland has a long history of supporting local industry. The City Council and City of Zeeland voters see our airport as a community asset that helps our industries compete and thrive in a global market. The City Council continues to look for new ways to collaborate with other units of government, and we often reflect on the establishment of the WMRA as a success story.

Kevin Klynstra, City of Zeeland Mayor:
“My responsibilities on the Board include making sure the Citizens of Zeeland stay informed on how their investment in the airport continues to pay off, and to help govern the airport to keep it a first-class transportation infrastructure, to meet local industry’s needs.”

Les Hoogland, City of Zeeland Citizen:
“I am proud to be part of the initial startup of the Authority. There are many benefits of having an airport minutes away, but I believe the number one benefit is keeping JOBS here and helping businesses add new JOBS. Our airport helps keep the economy humming for companies that employ thousands of local residents.”

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Holland Hospital Uses Airport

December 2013 – Sheri and her team from Holland Hospital take advantage of the convenience and easy access flying from West Michigan Regional Airport to Dubuque, Iowa and back — a one-day business trip.

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A Conversation with Mick

December 2013 – Keeping our airport safe, looking great, and running smoothly, is critical to airport operations. And, Mick Osborne is the man that fits the bill. Below is a brief summary of his story and responsibilities at Tulip City Air Service, FBO at West Michigan Regional Airport.

Mick 1

Mick’s interest in aviation began early and he received his private pilot’s license at the age of 17. His training took place in the aviation ground school located in the back of the barn that served as the FBO airport office and combination hangar. “My first job at the airport was washing airplanes on weekends,” said Mick.

“Now, Mick’s official position is Director of Line Services and Assistant A/P Manager, and he is the reason the airport’s appearance is always excellent and for the special remarks we receive from the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) airport inspectors after each yearly inspection,” explained Ron Ludema, President of Tulip City Air Service and FBO. “After 41 years on the job, Mick is responsible for making sure we constantly receive these great compliments.”

Mick’s responsibilities include everything that needs to be done outside and some inside work from moving and storage of aircraft, fueling and deicing aircraft,

baggage handling, snowplowing and mowing, buildings and grounds maintenance, airport lighting and equipment maintenance, and more. He supervises and trains a crew of seven full- and part-time workers.

(Tulip City Airport Charter Flight Photo)

“My favorite part of the job is the person-to-person contact. I like to anticipate our customers’ needs and deliver before they ask. I work in all weather conditions. If the runway needs plowing, I’m up at 2:30 a.m. getting the crew ready. If I’m not working, I’m on 24-hour call. Customer service is our priority,” said Mick.

On the social side, Mick has welcomed two presidents to WMRA, President Gerald R. Ford and President Barack Obama, and also a variety of celebrities.

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Interview with Pilot Russ Roberts

May 2013 – Russ Roberts, long time pilot at Tulip City Air Service gives a brief overview of FAA Emergency Training and how West Michigan Regional Airport is a valuable community asset.

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Kids on Tour

May 2013 – Spring brings area school kids to the airport learning about how our airport works and why it’s a valuable community asset. “We had approximately 355 kids visit the airport last year, along with several students that job shadowed,” said Ronda Hulst, Director of Charter Sales at Tulip City Air Service. “Pilots and staff tour kids and show them a little of every operation at the airport. The part they LOVE the most is to sit inside a jet at the controls!”

If your school or group is interested in a tour, call Tulip City Air Service at (616) 392-7831.




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Metal Flow Interview

May 2013 – Metal Flow appreciates the support the community gives to WMRA. Our airport allows us to have a national and international impact, allowing our manufacturing business to have our best year ever in 2012. We give back to our neighbors through Wings of Mercy flights (over 115,000 miles flown) and giving rides to organizations like Kids Hope. The smiles on their faces at lift off is priceless. The satisfaction of a short (380 knot cruise speed) Wings of Mercy trip is life enhancing.

Business flying is the why of our aircraft and the airport, but the give back flying is integral to who we are.
Gary VanderVeen, Chief Pilot, Metal Flow

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Youth Reps Receive Congratulations!

May 2013 – West Michigan Airport Authority members congratulated Connor Bos and Matthew Ziegeler at the last Board meeting for their academic and athletic achievements and for their participation as youth representatives on the Board.
Youth Reps
Connor Bos
Being a youth representative on the WMAA Board has been a great experience for me. Having a father who works at JCI and who uses the airport every day, I found that the decisions the Board makes and discuss about the airport directly affect him and his company. I’ve learned a different side of aviation and the careful planning that goes into making sure planes land and take off safely with a reliable and updated ILS system and the importance of having a fully functioning airport.
A truly memorable experience in my life was when I had the opportunity to help cut the ribbon in the ceremony for the opening of the new tunnel. It was my birthday and they called out into the crowd for anyone with a birthday to come up and help. So, along with many important people in the community, I helped open a great addition to the airport!

I am really grateful to be named a recipient by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation (one of 50 across the nation) and have been selected one of the thirteen Class A winners of the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Scholar Athlete Award. I plan to attend Gardner-Webb University and will swim at the NCAA Division I level in the fall.

Matt Ziegeler
At my first meeting I remember everyone being so welcoming and amiable. I was interested in government, and being on the WMAA Board has given me an incredible, firsthand experience of how city government works.

Part of what I want to do in life is to serve my nation, and after receiving a nomination from Senator Stabenow and Congressman Huizenga and through the long application process, I have been appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

I am incredibly grateful for my time on the Board, and look forward to moving on in life with the experience I have gained from maturing among such fine men and women.

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Technical Energy Solutions on Assignment

February 2013 – A snowstorm doesn’t stop air traffic at West Michigan Regional Airport! Brian, a pilot with Odyssey Entertainment in Minnesota, flew over Lake Michigan early January 21 to pick up Rob, a technician from Technical Energy Solutions, a company located in Byron Center.
Arriving at the airport in a Cessna Cardinal, Brian had his plane fueled up, filed a flight plan to Rochester, and took off with Rob who will spend a few days working with OE.

It’s good logistics to pick up a technician and fly him to where the work needs to get done,” said Brian. It saves time and money.

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Holland Special Delivery

“When one of our customer’s shipments absolutely, without fail, has to arrive on time – sending it on an aircraft is the best option. West Michigan Regional Airport is a simple, fast resource we use to make sure we delight our customer.”
Marvin Visser, COO, Holland Special Delivery



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Sharon Huminsky


Sharon Huminsky
Senior Flight Director,
Wings of Mercy

I can recall my first flight with Wings of Mercy. As a Flight Director I wanted to take a flight with a patient so I could experience what it felt like for them. I had never been in a small plane and I was worried about how it would feel to be so confined. As I watched the plane taxi over to pick us up I expressed this to the staff at Tulip City Airport. They assured me that I would be just fine and once I had taken off on that beautiful sunny day my expectations of confinement would diminish. How right they were! I felt exhilarated as we flew into the clouds and I marveled at the tiny specks below and the huge puffy clouds. My patient slept most of the way but not before I heard her story.

I began to see how important Wings of Mercy was in patients‚ lives and how much it meant on the part of Tulip City Airport staff to be the greeters or the first face our patients see. They put on a wonderful face!

I have flown out and into Tulip City Airport eight other times. Once in a jet, twice in a C414, four times in a Seneca and lastly in a Cessna Conquest. I have flown to our CareAffaires (fundraiser, breakfast events), to Washington DC, twice to Minnesota, and also to Florida picking up/dropping off patients. I particularly enjoyed flying out of Tulip City Airport where their staff made me feel very welcome. I realized that this is how they treat our patients too and expressed how grateful I was. Many of the patients are very sick and even the smallest kindness makes them feel better.

One of those kindnesses manifested itself in a huge tub filled with blankets and quilts made specifically for Wings of Mercy patients by volunteers. We were so grateful that the airport agreed to store them for us. If I am not available to come to the airport to hand a patient a blanket one of the staff has graciously agreed to do this.

Tulip City Airport goes above and beyond to provide friendly, courteous service at all times. Our patients have expressed this in surveys we send after a flight is completed. One mother stated; “Please thank Tulip City Airport for their continuing kindness to me and my son. I feel anxious before I fly because I am worried about my son’s appointment outcomes. The office staff at Tulip City Airport continues to treat us so well, offering cookies and smiles. They watch for my plane and tell me exactly what time it will land. I feel they do an outstanding job.”

It is wonderful to have an airport like Tulip City so conveniently located in Holland for our patients. The stress of driving to a big city and a large airport and then finding the hangar with the plane for our flight is erased. Patients are also allowed to leave their vehicles at the airport and know they are under the careful watch of the staff. Thank you, Tulip City Airport for helping do your part in giving wings to those in need.

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Dave Holkeboer

Dave-HolkeboerDave Holkeboer
Flight Student
Tulip City Airport

My interest in flying began in college. There wasn’t any time to think about it though because I got married and began a family. I’m now 79 years old and after a friend took me for a ride in his plane, I decided it was finally time.

I began flying lessons with Barb Fleming at Tulip City Airport two years ago. Barb is a very good teacher, careful, safe and positive. I continue flying lessons in Florida during the winter and am working towards getting my pilot’s license this year.

When I’m up in the air, I love the feeling of having no boundaries and to be able to go wherever I want.

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Barbara Fleming

barbara-flemmingBarbara Fleming
Flight Instructor
Tulip City Airport

I began my career as a Spanish teacher at Holland High School and taught for 28 years. As a lark I tried flying and the next day bought one-eighth share of an airplane. It worked out well…and sometimes life is like that.

This is my 14th year as a flight instructor with Tulip City Airport. I love helping people achieve their flying goals!

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Kim Steggerda

Kim-Steggerda-planeService Stop at Tulip City Airport

Kim’s RV6 recently received a compression check at Tulip City Airport.
“The aircraft took me approximately seven years to build in my basement,” stated Kim.“The RV6 has been one of the most popular kits. It’s nice to have Tulip City Air Service to help with service needs.”

RV History

In 1973, Richard (Van) VanGrunsven began manufacturing partial kits for the RV-3, working in a small shop behind his house. Now located in Aurora, Oregon the company produces several hundred complete aircraft kits a year, shipping them all over the world.

In the early to mid 1980s, the homebuilt market began to shift toward efficient touring, rather than pure sport airplanes. In response, Van’s developed the side-by-side RV-6. Careful design and attention to aerodynamic details resulted in a new airplane that retained the delightful handling and short field qualities of the RV-4.

Kim-Steggerda-plane-2RV Design

RV Aircraft are low-wing monoplanes of traditional aluminum construction. They use simple steel rod or leaf fixed landing gear. Aileron and elevators are controlled by a between-the-knees stick driving the surfaces through pushrods and ball bearings. The rudder is controlled by stainless steel cables. Fuel is contained in two sealed, removable, portions of the leading edge, and routed through a selector valve in the cockpit to the engine driven fuel pump. An electric fuel pump is installed in the system as a backup.

RV structures are “monocoque” or “stressed skin” designs. This means that the skins provide much of the airframe’s strength. The primary bending loads of the wing are carried by the single main spar. Wing torsional and drag loads are carried by the wing skins and rear spar. The same is true of the tail surfaces. The fuselage skins, whose shape is maintained by formed aluminum bulkheads, provide torsional and bending strength. Aluminum angle longerons in the fuselage provide stiffening for the skin and greater strength at localized points of attachment.

RVs are excellent cross-country airplanes, with low speed characteristics and short-field capabilities; a rare combination. Most are capable of delightful sport aerobatics and fun to fly. vansaircraft.com

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Connor Bos


Connor Bos
West Michigan Airport Authority
Youth-On-Board Member

Being part of Youth-on-Board for the West Michigan Airport Authority (WMAA) has been a great learning experience for me. With a strong passion for aviation and aeronautics, the WMAA board meetings are always a joy to attend. I not only contribute ideas, I gain a large amount of new information.

My father works for Johnson Controls and is always commuting to Plymouth and Holland, so having Tulip City Airport close to my house is very convenient for him. I love watching the JCI jet fly over my house knowing he’s going to be home soon! Without the airport he would have missed many major events in my life.

This has been a great time to gain background knowledge and to know more about the Aeronautics career I would like to pursue in college. Someday I would like to become a pilot, hopefully flying Air Force OneI The Air Force has been a huge dream of mine ever since I’ve watched friends of my family who are pilots fly practice runs, to seeing them fly over the Super Bowl, and even at age eleven sitting in a real Air Force Simulator!

As my swimming career picks up, I would love to swim division 1 and compete at that level of intensity. Auburn University is not only where my sister goes, but is also home to one of the best flight schools in the nation…as well as the infamous swimming program and football programs they are known for! From taking off on the runway to landing in a pool, it would be so much fun to do both, a dream come true!

Flying will always be a dream of mine even if it becomes a hobby because nothing beats the rush of take off and the freedom you feel when you’re sky high! So wherever life takes me, the flight experience will be a huge plus in my future! I can’t thank God enough for giving me these opportunities because the WMAA board has led me to meeting new people that could help my flight career “take off!” God had blessed me and the City of Holland with a very nice airport that is so vital to not only the city but to many families including mine for business commuting.

To the board and HYAC, thank you from the bottom of my heart because you have no idea what this means to me. I will never forget this experience!

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