LSE is working with a local group to identify passenger demand. This data will be useful as we continue to tackle air service development through conversations with airlines and network route planners. Please take a moment to complete the survey below and let us know your thoughts!
Air Service Passenger Survey

Why Fly Local?

More Than Just Convenient

The La Crosse Regional Airport is your airport. Economic studies show the Coulee Region has the passenger volume to provide additional air service, but needs residents and businesses to recognize the airport as a valuable resource and use its services.

The La Crosse Regional Airport serves a wide geographic area including the following counties: La Crosse, Winona, Monroe, Vernon, Trempealeau, Jackson, Houston, Richland, Crawford, Allamakee, and beyond! Whether you are a leisure traveler or business traveler all we ask is that you at least consider flying LSE before choosing an alternative airport.

Flying Can Be Easy

As more people fly local, La Crosse Regional Airport increases its chances of additional flight options and service to new destinations. Supporting important local assets, such as the La Crosse Regional Airport, ensures that LSE remains a vital component of our community.

Book your flight today and enjoy the Low Stress Experience that La Crosse Regional Airport has to offer.

Low. Stress. Experience.

La Crosse Regional Airport places high value on customer experience. Whether coming or going, at LSE we believe it's our job to welcome you or send you off with a Low Stress Experience. How well are we meeting your expectations? Let us know!

By sharing your experience with us, you can help us maintain the highest level of customer service.

Share Your Experience

A Better Way to Fly

The La Crosse Regional Airport puts convenience first to ensure you get the best experience when flying.

Airport Tours

The La Crosse Regional Airport is excited to be able to offer field trips and tours to groups of all ages. Tours are offered year-round and typically take about an hour and a half to two hours depending on the size of the group. Features of the tour include a behind the scenes look at the terminal building including airline operations and bag handling as well as the airport fire station, fire truck and heavy snow removal equipment. Tours are typically offered Monday - Friday between the hours of 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM but after-hour arrangements can be made on a case-by-case basis.

To book a tour, please contact JD Roberts, Airport Business Supervisor, at [email protected] or by calling (608) 789-3862.


JD Roberts

Airport Business Supervisor

More Than Just A Terminal

Our airport offers all ages tours. Learn more about how our airport runs inside and out.

Airport History


In October, Hugh Robinson, a regional daredevil gave a flying demonstration to people who had gathered at the local fairgrounds. Robinson returned several days later and landed a hydroplane on the Mississippi River to deliver airmail to the city.

“We Present Hugh Robinson, the Far Famed Aviator and Favorite of the Curtiss Co.,” La Crosse Tribune & Leader-Press 7 Oct. 1977:1; and “All is Ready for Robinson,” 18 Oct. 1911.


The city’s first airport, Salzer Field, was established. The airport was located on La Crosse’s south side at the corner of Losey Boulevard and Ward Avenue, on approximately 80 acres land owned by the Salzer Seed Company.

A group of local aviation enthusiasts formed the La Crosse Aero Club. The City and the Chamber of Commerce believed that aviation would catch on and would help bring economic growth to the local area.


On February 9th, Pilot William Carroll was en route from Milwaukee to Minneapolis/St. Paul flying the air mail route. Forced to land on the Wisconsin River due to bad weather, Carroll and two members of his crew were killed after their plane experienced an in-flight explosion over La Crosse. This tragedy had national implications. The timing of the crash occurred while debates on the government’s role in aviation were occurring. As a result, funding was cut, and only transcontinental air mail routes that ran from New York to San Francisco via Chicago and Denver survived. One of the main points of debate was the ability of the Federal Government to regulate aviation under the guidance of the constitution.


U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the case of the Wisconsin Railroad Commission, which was the predecessor of the modern Department of Transportation. The Court ruled that Federal Government has power to regulate intrastate commerce.


The Kelly Act passed, providing subsidies that all but created the American Airline Industry.


The City of La Crosse purchased the land known as Salzer Field, thus becoming the first airport in the City of La Crosse. Shortly after, Northwest Airlines began the first commercial service to La Crosse.


Having difficulty maintaining the airport because of large demands for modernization, the City of La Crosse abandoned Salzer Field on July 13.

La Crosse County Board of Supervisors leased a field on French Island to serve as a new airport. While initial work and progress on the airport was slow, a Depression Era “New Deal” program designed to put people to work allowed progress at the new airport to continue.


The new two-runway field, known as Pfafflin Field, was dedicated as the new County Airport on August 18.

Control of the new airport, however, was not assigned to the county. A contract was negotiated by the county and Ray Pfafflin for Pfafflin to operate Pfafflin Field for a period of five years after which the county then had the option to purchase.

The County Park Commission purchased the land for $14,141. After Raymond Pfafflin filed an appeal with the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the county decided to give up its attempt to develop and run the airport if Mr. Pfafflin would drop his appeal.


Construction of the current airport site started and was completed in 1945.


A requirement of receiving federal airport funds is for the airport land to be publicly-owned. The City of La Crosse finally purchased Pfafflin Field in February and it became city property.

The first two 8-unit t-hangars were constructed.

Viking Aviation began servicing the Airport from a newly constructed hangar building.

The Airports first Airport Manager, Frank Muth, was hired. He served the Airport until 1956.


The La Crosse Municipal Airport, a class IV airport, was dedicated on March 1. Northwest Airlines began scheduled air service the same day with five daily flights. The three asphalt runways at the new airport were 5299 ft. x 150 ft.


The Airport constructed its first maintenance building which was removed in 2019 to make way for more corporate hangar development.


The Airport needing a place to conduct its daily business constructed a new administration building which still stands today.


The city, recognizing that continuous improvement was required, built a new terminal building.

The city hired Socony-Vacuum Oil Company, Inc., to develop a “general plan” for the La Crosse Municipal Airport. Impressed with the location and layout of the airport, the consultants devised three stages of development.

The first stage consisted of building T-hangars, a large hangar, and refueling facilities, and also recommended sizes, designs, and locations for these structures. The T-hangars would solve the initial problem of having space for transient and based airplanes that must be hangared overnight. The large hangar could and should serve as an administration building until activity at the airport increased to the point where a separate administration building was required. The second and third stages of development included building other hangars when traffic warranted and hiring a director to manage the airport.

Air service continued to improve at the La Crosse Municipal Airport as the establishment kept pace with the ever-increasing requirements to safeguard all persons that utilized the aviation system. These improvements included wind indication devices, improved lighting systems, improved communication systems, emergency back-up electrical power, better snow removal equipment, security fencing, maintenance storage buildings, and a terminal building.


Theron Clark was hired as the new Airport Manager and served the Airport until 1969


A third 8-unit t-hangar was constructed.


A fourth 8-unit t-hangar was constructed.


James Cote was hired as the new Airport Manager and served the Airport until 1973


Three new 8-unit t-hangars were constructed.


James Brough was hired as the new Airport Manager and served the Airport until 1976


The city built a terminal building to accommodate the traveling public. There were two fixed-base operators to provide necessary aviation services, an air cargo facility, various corporate flight facilities, and seven T-hangars.

La Crosse Airline Service was provided by North Central Airlines with a combination of Convair 580 and DC 9 jet aircraft and by Mississippi Valley Airlines with Metroliners and DeHavilland Otters.

Viking Aviation, Inc., La Crosse Flite Center, and Viking International Airlines provided charter flights and air cargo services.


Curtis Tripp was hired as the new Airport Manager and served the Airport until 1979


Robert Kennedy was hired as the new Airport Manager and served the Airport until 1983


Duane Haataja was hired as the new Airport Manager and served the Airport until 1996


An eight 8-unit t-hangar was constructed.


The airport had grown to approximately 1,380 acres including a new terminal building, located on Airport Road. In conjunction with the new terminal building, an Airport Industrial Park was developed. The airport was and is a modern all-weather capable facility.


With larger equipment the Airport out grew the existing maintenance building and constructed a new modern maintenance shop which is still in operation today.


A new modernized Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting facility was constructed and remains in operation today.


Mike Daigle was hired as the new Airport Manager and served the Airport until 2003


Dan Wruck was hired as the new Airport Manager and served the Airport until 2012


Clinton Torp hired as the Airport Director after serving as the Assistant Airport Manager for 6 years, until May 2019.


La Crosse Municipal Airport was renamed the La Crosse Regional Airport to better represent the geographic area the Airport serves.


In February, the La Crosse Regional Airport Terminal Rehabilitation Project was dedicated with a nearly $14.2 million dollar renovation project.


Construction of a new 10-unit t-hangar is accomplished which accommodates larger twin engine aircraft.


Phase 1 of a 2 phase project is completed on the Terminal Apron. The project ensures that larger, modern, air carrier aircraft can continue to utilize the airport. 

Ian Turner joins the La Crosse Regional Airport as its Director in September 2019.

Soaring Suds Car Wash opens in December, ensuring that car rental customers receive a fresh, clean car is quick order.


The general aviation t-hangar area receives an asphalt resurfacing to extend the useful life of the pavement. The project also opens up new development spaces for additional box hangars.

Phase 2 of the 2 phase project to expand the Terminal Apron is completed. Multiple mainline air carrier aircraft can now operate to and from the Terminal at the same time.


The airport sits on 1,380 acres of land and supports approximately 19,000 operations every year.

The original runway layout is still in use, but many improvements have taken place overtime. Two of the runways have seen expansion to 8,742 feet and 6,050 feet. At 8,742 feet, the La Crosse Airport has the third longest runway in the state of Wisconsin with Milwaukee having the longest and Madison the second longest.

With its infrastructure, the La Crosse Airport can accommodate even the largest aircraft in service today. The airlines process nearly 90,000 enplanements and 180,000 total passenger annually.

The La Crosse Airport is a self-sufficient entity of the City of La Crosse; taxpayer dollars do not go into the operating budget of the airport.

The staff at the airport consists of 13 city employees; of whom four are trained Operations Coordinators who perform ARFF and six are airport maintenance personnel who take care of the airport facilities.