Airport Authority members share vision for airportBy Stephen Dawkins Published 2:18pm Thursday, February 21, 2013
Craig Cleckler and Billy Singleton have a vision for the Chilton County Airport.
Developing that vision was an important step for the future of the county because seeing it through to reality could benefit all residents.
But Cleckler and Singleton, members of the Chilton County Airport Authority, also feel an obligation to share that vision with the community, which was their purpose for speaking to the Rotary Club of Chilton County on Wednesday.
Cleckler, the authority chairman, and Singleton talked about the group’s Airport Layout Plan, which calls for the runway to be re-surfaced and extended by 1,000 feet in the coming years. Much of the work can be funded through grants.
“We are expecting, in the next four to five years, $6-8 million to be poured into this county through the airport,” Cleckler said.
The Airport Authority is comprised of seven members, five of which are appointed by the Chilton County Commission and two of which are appointed by the Clanton City Council.
Cleckler and Singleton said they want to improve the airport so that it would be accessible to more types of aircraft, including planes used by business leaders that might look to Chilton County as a potential site to locate new operations.
“If you don’t have your hospital, if you don’t have your airports, it’s not going to happen,” Cleckler said about economic growth.
The airport’s runway is 4,008 feet long, while 5,000 feet is the “magic number” for being able to accommodate somewhat larger planes.
One of the first steps of fulfilling the ALP will be the re-paving of the runway, a project that could take place this summer.
“This is our opportunity to make a very positive change for the county,” Singleton said. “This is not about people who fly; it’s about bringing jobs to this county.”