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Everett-Stewart receives upgrades

Everett-Stewart receives upgrades

Posted: Friday, December 12, 2008 9:47 pm

By JOHN BRANNON Messenger Staff Reporter Gone with the wind are blue maintenance sheds and the red and orange water tower at Everett-Stewart Regional Airport. These, and more. It’s all part of a two-county — Obion and Weakley — effort to upgrade the airport that dates back to World War II. On Dec. 1, 2006, the two counties entered an agreement to establish a partnership regarding operation of the airport. “Several things have happened in the last two years since Obion and Weakley counties have been running the airport,” said Dr. Chris Gooch, chairman of the Everett-Stewart Regional Airport commission. “Those two World War II blue maintenance sheds are gone. The ground is seeded and looks a lot better. Also, the water tank is gone. We had it removed because it wasn’t being used any more. “There was a green and white rotating beacon on the water tank, but it had stopped working before we had the water tank taken down. We’re getting the beacon replaced. We’re going to put up a similar rotating beacon, but it’ll be on a pole instead of on top of a water tank.” Gooch said the Aeronautics Division of the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has appropriated $86,000 to erect a new beacon. “It’s a 90-10 grant, meaning we’ll have to pay back only 10 percent,” he said. Several projects Other airport improvements include: • Wind sock. “The wind sock (located alongside) the runway is defunct. The sock is still there, but the lights to shine on it at night don’t work any more,” Gooch said. “We’ve got a $30,000 grant approved to replace it with a lighted wind cone which is even more visible from the air. The grant is 90-10, too. It’ll cost us only $3,000.” • New hangar. Gooch said construction of a 10-unit “T” hangar was recently completed. “We are renting the units. They generate about $1,800 a month in income for the airport. Nine are filled. The 10th will be filled in January. • Repair work. “Before we could build the T-hangar, we had to do a lot of repair work on the area where it’s located,” Gooch said. “An old concrete pad left over from an old wooden hangar was still there, cracked and broken. It had to be removed. “The ramp area had a 2 percent slope. We repaired it and brought it down to a half a percent slope. So we fixed that area and put in a surface drain. We paved the whole area when we got through with the T-hangar. “About the same time, we also paved a small parking lot and lined it for vehicle parking.” • Taxiway. “We overlaid the airport taxiway. It was in bad need of repair,” he said. “We did that and also installed new taxiway lights. You can taxi to either end of the runway for takeoff. The taxiway, which parallels the runway, is 5,000 feet long, 40 feet wide, same size as the runway. Each end of the taxiway is enlarged from 40 feet to 50 feet to accommodate large aircraft such as those used by businesses.” Total cost The ramp work, the taxway, the paving of parking lots and the T-hangar cost about $1 million. “That was a 90-10 grant, too. We got it for $100,000,” Gooch said. Published in The Messenger 12.12.08

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