GREAT BARRINGTON — The world’s most popular aviation magazine highlighted the town and its airport this month, noting a handful of things to do after landing at Walter J. Koladza Airport — or KBGR, as pilots call it.
The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, the W.E.B. Du Bois National Historic Site, GB Eats, The Guthrie Center, Monument Mountain and The Barrington hotel are included in Flying Magazine’s July 1 “Destinations” piece by Jonathan Welsh, a private pilot and former reporter, editor and columnist at The Wall Street Journal.
Welsh landed at Koladza last month and used one of the airport’s “crew cars” that are available for pilots who want to head into town or sightsee.
“During this week’s visit, my teenage son and I got the keys to a ruby red Ford Taurus so we could enjoy breakfast at Great Barrington Eats on Main Street,” Welsh wrote.
He described Koladza as a low-key country airport.
“The usual airport fence is conspicuously absent, so people arriving by car, bike, or on foot feel welcome,” Welsh wrote. “Years ago, the first time I flew in, the airport dog escorted me to the restroom.”
Flying’s circulation is 160,000 for each print issue and 410,000 on its website, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press in a story about the magazine’s purchase by a Chattanooga businessman last year. It also has 450,000 followers on social media.
The airport has been under scrutiny over noise and other issues in recent years as it tried to build new hangars, but lost a permit bid due, in part, to opposition from some abutters and neighbors.
It preexists zoning rules, allowing it to operate in a rural residential area without town permitting. Several residents launched a legal battle that could shut the airfield down, and that is pending in court.
A deftly wielded legal argument fails as board members swat away the idea that they should force the airport to return to 1932-levels of activity.