Airport projects lining up

Airport projects lining up
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Bill Waggoner is ready to build a new maintenance hangar at Everett-Stewart Airport.
Alex Londe is eager to build a new crop dusting hangar.
The Everett-Stewart Re-gional Airport Commission stands willing to accommodate both businessmen and has initiated the process of designing new hangars for both.
Waggoner owns and operates WillAero and is working with the airport commission on a new hangar for his maintenance shop.
Londe met with the airport commission Tuesday morning and indicated he is considering building an 80-by-100-foot hangar for his agribusiness. His hangar will include a conference area, kitchen and office.
WillAero will be located near the north end of the airport property, while Londe’s hangar is being considered for an area along the south end of the airport property. The airport commission is in the process of developing a 13.6-acre area alongsidethe runway for agribusinesses such as Londe’s.
Londe is relocating his agribusiness from Humboldt and told commissioners Tuesday he has already experienced a 40 percent increase in business since temporarily moving to the local airport.
“I think he will be an asset to the airport,” airport manager Jo Ann Speer told the commission about Londe.
“I look forward to working here, hopefully,” Londe said.
The commission agreed to proceed with the design phase for the two business ventures and is hopeful of securing a grant to fund up to 90 percent of the design work.
The application for funding of the design work is expected to be presented to state officials at a Tennessee Aeronautics Commission meeting set for Feb. 16 in Nashville.
It was revealed during Tuesday’s commission meeting that Mrs. Speer was recently elected vice president of the Tennessee Aviation Association
Also during Tuesday’s hour-long meeting, the final farmland boundary map was presented to the commission. Using the new boundary map, the commission will only be leasing about 500 acres of farmland to John and Austin Gregory, rather than the 550 acres that was initially in the contract. The commission will reimburse the farmers for the 50-acre difference.
Tuesday’s meeting covered a wide range of issues for the airport commission.
Randy Hudgings, with the Barge, Waggoner, Sumner & Cannon consulting firm in Nashville, provided commissioners with an update on 13 airport projects, including the underground fuel storage tanks, security fencing, pavement evaluation, a taxi-lane connector, airport hangars, the airport layout plan and a new access road.
Hudgings told the commission the runway extension project is currently in the “close-out phase.”
“We’ve got a lot going on — a lot of little projects,” Hudgings said.
In other action, the airport commission:
• Discussed but took no action on the upcoming Airport Extravaganza event.
• Was given an update by Mrs. Speer on recent activities involving the airport, which included a tour by the Leadership Obion County program and an art contest.
• Was informed the airport’s Civil Air Patrol unit recently celebrated its first-year anniversary. The local unit began with 17 members and has since grown to 34 members, while five new members applied to join the unit this past weekend.
“We’re really proud of our Civil Air Patrol,” Mrs. Speer said.
Published in The Messenger 1.20.12

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