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.

Text Only
Local News
  • svw-beagles-MAIN.jpg Going to the dogs

    Hounds at center stage for more than just Red Fern Festival

    Larry Blackman and Titus Blanket have always loved dogs, especially beagles. In their respective roles as president and vice president of the Cherokee County Beagle Club, they’ve turned that love into a passion.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • sanders-jeri.jpg Murder charge against mother of dead boy, 3, dismissed

    A first-degree murder charge has been dropped against a 37-year-old mother accused in the death of her 3-year-old son.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • supersalary.jpg Okla. superintendents paid comparatively well; teachers 46th lowest

    Administrators say they work year-round, have other duties

    As public education in Oklahoma continues to feel the pinch of a shrinking state budget, watchdog groups and district patrons across the state are asking whether superintendents are getting a disproportionate piece of the financial pie.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Boards keep city, county afloat

    City and county officials rely on a variety of boards to oversee diverse and complex issues, and many of their members work behind the scenes to keep the wheels of government oiled and turning.
    The city of Tahlequah currently has 10 boards and three trust authorities. Cherokee County has two county-specific boards.

    July 31, 2014

  • HPWA contract raises gas to $3.99 a gallon

    The Hulbert Public Works Authority renewed its natural gas contract with Constellation Energy July 29, raising fuel prices to $3.99 per gallon for the next two years.

    July 31, 2014

  • Tourism Council OKs compensation

    The Tahlequah Area Tourism Council held its annual retreat Wednesday, and approved paying former Director Kate Kelly 100 hours of annual leave.

    July 31, 2014

  • rf-poker-run-main.jpg Poker run

    Fundraiser was in the cards for local philanthropic group

    It was perfect weather, with temperatures in the high 80s Saturday, as boaters filled their vessels with friends for a fun afternoon on Lake Tenkiller. A crowd gathered at Cookson Bend Marina, and folks lined up to support a local charity event.
    As fundraisers go, the Beta Sigma Phi Mu Omega Poker Run last Saturday could be considered huge success, as nearly $9,000 was collected.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • bilbrey-anthony.jpg Man arrested for blackmailing woman for sex

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies put a man behind bars Monday night after he allegedly tried to blackmail a woman by threatening to post nude photos of her on the Internet if she did not meet him for sex.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peach_photo_2.jpg Peach crop lean, but fruit still available

    Summer is all about peaches in Porter – especially at Livesay Orchard.
    The Livesay Orchard is still busy a week after Porter’s annual peach festival. The orchard’s crop this year was cut in half from what had previously been expected, according to Kent Livesay, one of the owners of the orchard.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • jackson-jaymee.jpg Tot’s injuries prompt abuse charges for two local residents

    A Tahlequah couple was formally charged Tuesday with child neglect and child abuse after an 18-month-old girl was found with a number of injuries.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos


Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN