Thursday, September 24, 2009
Fuel farm ready
By SUE WATSON
There is lots of construction activity at the Holly Springs-Marshall County Airport.
Just completed is a fuel farm that has Jet A and aviation fuel with 24-hour, self-service capability. Each storage tank holds 6,000 gallons of fuel, according to Bill Mobley with the Marshall County Industrial Development Authority. The fuel farm is being managed by John Jewell Aircraft, one of the top-flight aviation repair service companies in the world.
And the taxiway is being extended the full length of the runway - now at 3,600 feet.
The new fuel farm and taxiway extension, as well as a recently completed fencing of the airport periphery to keep out stray animals which could obstruct the runway, are all part of a 20-year plan for the airport.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has helped upgrade the airport with grants yearly in recent years, and this year close to $1.25 million in construction will be spent on airport improvements, according to Russell Johnson, airport authority commissioner. This upgrade includes upgrading the runway lights and moving the runway lights out wide for future runway widening.
“This looks like a first-class airport now,” added Mobley, who toured the airport with Johnson last week.
The beacon has been replaced and it sits atop a freshly painted support pole.
Johnson said work on the 20-year plan has been underway just a year and a half but half the construction in the 20-year plan will be done with these projects’ completion.
T-Hangers will be next, said Mobley. And the next extension of the runway will lengthen it to 4,200 feet and the final phase will put the runway at 5,000 feet.
The FAA and the Mississippi Department of Transportation have provided most of the money for upgrades, he said.
“We are just excited,” Mobley said. “We appreciate the cooperative efforts of the city and county governments that help. We can’t do anything without them.”
Johnson, who has served four years as a commissioner, said serving on the board of directors has been a pleasure.
“This is something the city and county work on that is real smooth,” he said. “We don’t debate.”
Marshall County keeps up the airport grounds as part of an interlocal agreement between the two governmental entities.
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