MEMBER ALERT: AOPA will be closing at 1:45 p.m. Eastern on Dec. 6 and will reopen at 8:30 a.m. Eastern on Dec. 9.
June 5, 2008
AOPA ePublishing staff
It took unprecedented dedication and cooperation from politicians, pilots, and communities at large to create what some involved have called a miracle—the reopening of a general aviation airport four years after it closed.
A ceremony reopening Lanett Airport in Alabama was held May 21, thanks to residents and political leaders in four cities and two states. AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Mike Ballard was actively involved in raising community awareness and support for the airport, preparing necessary paperwork, and working with city and FAA officials.
“To finally achieve this goal is very fulfilling but also exhausting,” Ballard said, noting that it took a combination of perseverance, cooperation, and a drive for economic development that led to the opening of a new automotive manufacturing plant just five miles from the field, a plant that will bring jobs to the once-depressed area and benefit from easy access to an airport.
Other factors included the dedication of local politicians. In fact, Lanett Mayor Oscar Crowley campaigned on a promise to reopen the airport—a promise he was able to fulfill. And Crowley was by no means the only elected official who worked to get the airport back in business.
Leaders from the cities of Lanett, Valley, and Lafayette in Ala., and West Point in Ga. banded together to promote the airport and keep the project on track. During the reopening ceremonies, Valley Mayor Arnold Leak recognized the exceptional cooperation that brought the airport “back from the dead” and looked ahead to the addition of another runway.
Pilots have formed a user group and launched a petition drive to save Runway 5/23 at Joplin Regional Airport in Joplin, Mo.
AOPA is urging Santa Rosa County officials who operate Peter Prince Field in Milton, Fla., to revise proposed rules to eliminate potential conflicts.
SocialFlight users can now publish events via Facebook and Twitter.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.