Airport grant is good news

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 13, 2009

The announcement this week by the Chilton Airport Authority that Gragg-Wade Field has been awarded a $340,106 Federal Aviation Administration Grant is good news.

The FFA grant will provide needed funding for the airport authority to purchase land on the west end of the airport’s runway. The purchase will remove obstructions from the runway protection zone that will help make the entire 4,000-foot runway accessible.

Extending the runway from 3,200 feet to 4,000 will enable companies to land larger aircraft in Clanton. This would assist existing companies as well as future companies that may locate here.

There are those who consider the airport as a “country club” type facility that caters to just those who own airplanes. This is simply not the case.

Growing communities need good transportation facilities, and an airport is an asset that appeals to companies that are accustomed to traveling via airplanes. Having an airport that will cater to most company airplanes is one more plus for the county when industrial board members attempt to lure companies here.

We appreciate the efforts of the airport authority and Sen. Richard Shelby to acquire the funding for the airport.