Airport has busy and productive 2011

Airport has busy and productive 2011
Staff Reporter
Updates on airport projects dominated an early morning meeting of the Everett-Stewart Regional Airport Commission Thursday.
In what was the local airport commission’s final meeting of 2011, commissioners were updated on progress being made on the replacement of underground fuel tanks, the runway extension project, planned new hangars, airport lighting and a new boundary survey that is about 90 percent complete.
The airport commission is expected to have the new boundary survey in hand by its next meeting, scheduled for Jan. 19, 2012.
Also, work is continuing on a new airport operations plan, a new airport website and a brochure.
Thursday’s hour-long meeting at the airport also provided commissioners with the opportunity to meet John and Austin Gregory, who were recently awarded the 2012 contract to lease the airport’s farmland, and to meet new airport businessman Bill Waggoner, who is operating Will Aero LLC.
“We’re glad to be here,” John Gregory said.
It’s been a very busy and productive year for Everett-Stewart Regional Airport with the opening of its new runway extension and a variety of other major improvements at the airport. The airport commission has also laid the foundation for even more improvements that will be coming in 2012, including the opening of the new airport access road off Highway 22 East.
Airport manager Jo Ann Speer informed the commission at Thursday’s meeting that work is still being done on a new airport website and a new brochure.
“We’re still gathering information on the website,” she said.
By the commission’s next meeting, several final reports and final inspections will be completed and presented to the commission.
At Thursday’s meeting, Mrs. Speer gave a very positive report on last week’s Santa Claus fly-in event. The event was attended by a crowd of about 200, mostly children, and was held in Gordon Wade’s hangar. The evening’s festivities included music, holiday refreshments and Santa Claus, who flew in to the event aboard a plane and visited with the children.
Also during this Thursday’s meeting, the airport commission was informed Bob Woods has retired as the director of the aeronautics division of the Tennessee Department of Transportation and he has been replaced by Bill Orellana. The new director was a career officer with the U.S. Air Force and retired with the rank of colonel.
“I think he’s going to do a good job and hopefully we’ll be hitting on all cylinders pretty quick,” TDOT spokesman David Moss told the commission.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at

Published in The Messenger 12.9.11

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