|Published: 9:51 AM, 08/05/2013
||Last updated: 9:52 AM, 08/05/2013
Author: Michael Thomason
Source: The Monroe County Advocate
MADISONVILLE-Should the Monroe County
Airport be automated, turning a tidy little profit for the county, or
should it be turned over to someone else to run, taking the
day-to-day operations off the county's mind?
The Airport Committee pondered those
two options Wednesday afternoon, but Jim Curry, who works for the
Tennessee Department of Transportation over seeing airports in the
state, said he's seen both option work well and both options fall
flat on their face.
"There are all kinds of airport
management in Tennessee," Curry said. "Some set them up to be all
automated, some hire a manager, some even put in flight schools to
bring in a little extra income. You don't really know what will
work until you try something."
Curry did warn against letting an
airport be used as a restoration site.
"That can bring in some extra money," he said, "but in order for a plane to be restored, you usually have
to cannibalize another plane and you can end up with a plane bone
yard littering your airport."
Currently, the Monroe County Airport is
set up to let people land and refuel without needing any help and
hangars have been rented out. There is also a rest area with snacks
and drinks available. County Head of Maintenance Brad Bivens keeps an
eye on the place as part of his regular routine.
"In the past three months," Monroe
County Mayor Tim Yates said, "we've brought in about $35,000 from
the airport. If we hired somebody to run it, some of that would go
toward their salary, but over the course of a year, we'd still make
a nice profit for the county."
See full story in the Sunday, Aug. 4, edition of The Advocate & Democrat.
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