When you visit our Airport allow time to visit our town. It's the oldest town in the state and has a lot of history, great businesses, and Lewis and Clark walked down main street a couple hundred years ago. Jump in the airport car and visit Stevi!
Stevensville Airport  32S
Stevensville Airport Sept 1980
Stevensville Airport March 2017

Stevensville Airport Background and History  In 1901 a land grant to V. Burch began the foundation for the Stevensville Airport at its present location [Appendix, History Timeline]. The airport is located approximately 5 miles from the Town limits sitting on a bench that provides a clear view of the Bitterroot Mountains to the west and the Sapphire Mountains to the east. Anyone, anywhere at the Airport has one of the most beautiful, unobstructed views in the Bitterroot Valley. This geographic location is considered by certain pilots to be one of the best locations for an airport in western Montana.
From 1901-2013 the airport has been developed by volunteers. The Airport history is shown in the Timeline and History appendices. The airport was being considered for closure and elimination due to disrepair by the FAA in the late seventies.  A group of pilots and users approached the town to volunteer their efforts and funds to keep the airport at the established location. In 1979 an arrangement was reached whereby the volunteers would accept responsibility for the development of the airport with the understanding that there would be no costs to the town or general taxpayers. The airport would, however, be owned by the town of Stevensville. This arrangement continued throughout the main development of the airport up to the annexation which occurred in October of 2013. The airport is managed by the town council with recommendations by a six member volunteer airport board. Maintenance and on site operations are staffed by volunteers for snow plowing, mowing, and general upkeep.
During the major development period 1980-2013, virtually all the investment was seeded by volunteer user and business fees, individual contributions of labor, materials, and cash donations. These selfimposed fees (unique to this airport) allowed the volunteer management to secure both private and federal funding for capital improvements, such as realigning of the runway, paving , maintenance, developing a fueling station, purchase of snow plow equipment, etc. 
At the time of annexation the layout of the airport was fixed as 32S which can be found in the current 2017 Montana Airport Directory, the 56th edition. By 2013 the volunteers had developed 27 buildings and a lighted 3800 x 60 runway with a lighted beacon and a self-service fueling station. The Airport Layout Plan [Appendix, ALP] was established, including timelines for many future improvements. 
In 2013 at annexation, the town of Stevensville began receiving airport taxes, paid by the airport hanger owners. The county collects taxes for all taxing jurisdictions. These taxes went in to the Town’s general fund. Prior to the annexation no portion of the taxes paid by the airport hanger owners went to the Town. The airport budget now includes a portion of the operational costs of the town such as fire, police, clerks, mayor, etc. as an annexed property zoned light industrial. With the annexation in 2013, the airport entered a new relationship with the community. A Targeted Economic Development District (TEDD) was implemented in 2013. The Town, by resolution, created a Joint North Stevensville and Stevensville Airport Tax Increment Finance District Advisory Board to make recommendations to the Town on these two Districts. More interaction with the Town is occurring.  [Appendix, Stevensville Targeted Economic Development Plan]
The airport users and volunteers have funded one of the town’s greatest assets. Current Airport Specific Total Economic Impacts for Stevensville Airport (32S) shows 68 jobs, a payroll of $1,933,000 and an economic impact of $7,780,000. [Appendix, MDOT 2016 Stevensville Airport Economic Impact Report]

History Timeline of the Stevensville Airport 32S

Condensed version*


US Patent for land granted to Vincent Burch


Beginning of land acquisition for the land to become Airport


Ravalli County acquires land to become Airport


 County executed 3 yr. lease for 50 A. to Stevensville to be used as an airport


County executed 5 yr. lease for 100A. to Stevensville to be used as an airport


All land containing the Airport was declared to be owned by the county due to forfeiture of the                   land by the then present owners.


Creation of joint airport board for airports in Hamilton and Stevensville


Amendment to Resolution creating a joint airport board to be able to fix fees and rentals



A restraining order was issued on approving County funds for Stevensville Airport Improvement Project. Judge Green ordered an election so voters could decide if County monies could be spent.






Results of the election for expenditure of county money for the proposed Stevensville Airport Capital Project were against the expenditure


Commissioners signed resolution 234 resolving that County Commissioners give notice to the city of Hamilton and the town of Stevensville that the commissioners terminate the Joint Resolution entered by all parties on November 3, 1947


Stevensville presented proposal to Commissioners requesting clear title to the Stevensville Airport



Stevensville summitted letter to commissioners requesting Airport be turned over to the town of Stevensville.


County commissioners repealed, terminated, and abolished Joint Airport Board for Hamilton and Stevensville


County Commissioners assigns to the Town of Stevensville all rights that they may have acquired to any recorded or unrecorded leases on the Stevensville Airport. Town decrees that no taxes from the town or county are to be used to support the airport.  Users agreed to fund airport without such financial support. Airport fees and newly applied business and user fees were saved for utilization toward matching Federal funds for airport improvements. All management and maintenance continues as volunteer efforts. All property taxes go to the county. Incidental assistance given by the town. Airport value unknown-four hangers exist now. Without tax revenues, a diverse group of passionate aviation enthusiasts begin to fund and develop the airport property into a more acceptable facility

Stevensville Airport RW 12 September 1980 Delbert Schwaderer photo



Airport annexed into Town of Stevensville. Taxes from airport properties now go to the Town of Stevensville as well as the county and other taxing jurisdictions. TEDD district established. Airport fees, business fees, and user fees continue to be the supporting funds for the airport. New TEDD revenues go into a special fund for the airport. FInancial history shows that Airport investment has been Federal funds $3,458,885.33, matching volunteer user and business fees $229,407.23 for a total of #3,688,292.56. Only two original hangers remain, but a total of 27 hangers and a SRE building have been developed for an estimated value exceeding $4,500,000.00. A diverse group of passionate aviation enthusiast have funded and developed the Stevensville Airport into a very nice facility. The lighted runway is 60x3800 with taxiways, parking areas, self-service fueling station, rotating beacon, large snowplow, and a PAPA exist with minimum debt now. Volunteer efforts continue to maintain and operate the airport.


Stevensville Airport 26 June 2016 Craig E. Thomas photo


2016 Construction begins on Airport improvements consisting of runway width to 75 feet, complete resurfacing, and a full-length taxiway. Airport value now exceeds $10,000,000.00. Maintenance and operation continues to be by volunteer efforts

Stevensville Airport 32S March 14, 2017 Chris Soto photo


*Further details are available from the doc “Stevensville Airport” authored by then Airport Board Chairman Ron McCann and then Mayor Gene Mim-Mack 02/13/2012.


Delbert Swaderer Photo Sept 1980
It's a short Flight from Stevensville to USFS airstrip Fish Lake.
N13XZ in front of Structural Repair
Stevensville Airport under construction 2016
14 March 2017 Chris Soto photo
Town of Stevensville received this award for excellence for the airport improvements 2016.