Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

October 18, 2012

Airport expansion

TAHLEQUAH — Area pilots and those who visit Tahlequah Municipal Airport should see some new additions by next summer.

Airport Manager Greg Blish said the facility is expected to see three new projects begin next spring: construction of a new run-up apron, and the introduction of additional navigation assistance through a lighted wind sock and runway end identifier lights, also called REIL lights.

Blish said the airport already has one run-up apron, and construction of a second will be a welcome addition.

“Some pilots have to do a series of engine checks and navigational checks before take-off, and at busy times, this will help,” said Blish.

Run-up aprons provide a space for aircraft pilots to do their checks while paving the way for other jets to continue on course and take flight.

Jets typically don’t do a run-up, Blish said, but smaller aircraft do.

“So if a trainer is giving a flight lesson and needs to do a series of checks, they can pull off onto the run-up pad. If a jet’s coming down the taxiway, they’re ready for take-off,” said Blish. “Fuel is money and time is money, so they’re ready to pass that aircraft, do their system checks and go out and access the runway. That’s basically what a run-up is – a big, asphalt pad.”

Blish said REIL lights and the lighted wind sock will help pilots on instrument flights.

“It kind of enables, during marginal weather, the pilot to see the runway and make a safe landing,” he said.

The three projects for the coming year are provided through federal funds. Blish said the airport receives $150,000 per year through a non-proprietary entitlement, provided because the facility houses more than 50 based aircraft.

“We’re allotted $150,000 a year and some years we bank that money; we hold back until we have enough to do the project, since you’ve got engineering costs, construction costs, and other costs that will be associated with a project,” he said.

He expects to see project work begin next April and finish up sometime in June, with no interruption to the airport’s daily operations.

“We’ve also improved the fueling system this year with a new fuel pump for aviation fuel,” said Blish. “Fuel’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through an outdoor pay terminal. We continue to offer services to the business aircraft fleet as well as the local and transient recreational pilots.”

Though a sluggish economy has led to some decrease in the amount of fuel sales at the airport this year, Blish said fuel sales are still important to the necessary growth of the Tahlequah area.

Aviation fuel is approximately $5.50 per gallon, while jet fuel rates just below $5 per gallon. The airport sold nearly $27,500 of fuel in September.

“The airport is still experiencing continued growth, even during a slowdown in the economy,” said Blish.

There are 54 based aircraft on the field, and Blish said support from the Tahlequah City Council has led to construction of three additional taxi lanes in the past year, which created 16 new hanger-lease spaces. Three large hangars have been built on-site in just the past six months, Blish said.

“We are fortunate that we completed an extension of the runway and taxiways, which enables us to serve the majority of business jet aircraft with a 5,001-foot runway and parallel taxiway system and new lighting,” said Blish.

Blish said the projects are all supported by the city mayor, city council, airport board members, the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission, and the Federal Aviation Administration.

 

To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • svw-Keys.jpg Grant to fund stepped-up Keys PE program

    Kair Ridenhour’s new office is filled with pedometers.
    Ridenhour officially started his new position as assistant elementary principal at Keys Public Schools on July 1.
    But his other role at the school – that of physical education project coordinator – prompted the influx of pedometers.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • jn cvbc fire.jpg Church catches fire after burglaries

    Authorities are looking for the person accused of breaking into the Crescent Valley Baptist Church two times this week and likely causing a fire that damaged the youth building early Wednesday morning.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • svw Humane photo.tif More volunteers needed to house strays, help with spay-and-neuter

    Furry friends may seem like the perfect addition to round out a family.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marijuana, seeds lead to four arrests

    Four people were arrested on marijuana related charges early Wednesday morning after a traffic stop on South Muskogee Avenue.

    July 24, 2014

  • Sex offender found living in tent at river

    Cherokee County sheriff’s investigators arrested a convicted sex offender this week when they discovered he has been living in a tent along the river.

    July 24, 2014

  • ts-NSU-MAIN.jpg Fledgling RiverHawks arrive

    Over 200 incoming freshmen took part in orientation class at Northeastern State University

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-TCP-jump.jpg Tahlequah Community Playhouse revving up for new season

    Tahlequah Community Playhouse is kicking of its 41st season with a nod to friendship and aging.
    TCP finished auditions for its first play of the season, “The Dixie Swim Club,” on Tuesday.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Infant mortality dropping in county

    When a mom-to-be is expecting a healthy, happy baby, every week of pregnancy is crucial.
    Short gestation, or premature births, is a leading cause of infant mortality. Any child born before reaching 37 weeks of gestation is considered premature.

    July 23, 2014

  • Board considers combining tourism, chamber positions

    Members of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the local Tourism Council are discussing the possibility of combining two jobs into one.
    Chamber President Steve Turner encouraged board members Tuesday morning to be prepared next month to decide how it will begin a search for a new executive director.

    July 23, 2014

  • New chamber board members nominated

    Three new board members will likely be installed during the regular August meeting of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce.

    July 23, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Stocks