Take flight: Lanett airport open house

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, March 22, 2023

LANETT — Weather permitting, the City of Lanett will be hosting an open house at the Lanett Regional Airport from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. EDT on this Saturday, March 25th. Everyone’s invited, and a fun day will be in store.

Stormy weather is in the forecast for Friday, but there’s a good chance it could be cleared out by Saturday morning. “We are hoping for good weather,” Mayor Jamie Heard told The Valley Times-News. “We will have a better idea toward the end of the week. We will postpone it to another date if the weather is going to be too bad.”

The Silver Wings, the official U.S. Army parachute demonstration team from Fort Benning, have scheduled a trip to the local area on Saturday. They put on crowd-pleasing performances wherever they go.

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Planes will be taking off and landing on the new 5,400-foot runway throughout the day. Those who sign releases can be taken for short rides over the nearby area. Several helicopters will be on display, and pilots will be there to discuss basic operations.

For those who need a way to the airport and back, city buses will be providing transportation, starting at 9:30 a.m. One bus will be leaving from in front of Lanett High and another will be heading out from the L.B. Sykes complex.

Several food trucks will be on site, and there will be jumpers for the kids.

“This will be a big day for our city,” the mayor said. “We are hoping for a big turnout.”

At Monday’s council meeting, a resolution was approved clearing the way to sell aviation fuel at the airport. The resolution authorizes Airport Manager Richard Carter to purchase 1001LL Avgas and Jet A fuel as needed at the airport. The selling price will be based on an approved formula, with Carter being required to report to the council on fuel sales. The sales price will be set at five cents lower than the retail price for fuel at the nearest competitive airports.

Carter was out of town, but Fire & EMS Chief, who has served as the city’s point man on the airport project, told the council that there’s an Avgas tank in place at the airport. “We have already sold a good bit of it,” Allen said. “We are looking at a spot behind the existing box hangar as a place for the jet fuel.”

Allen estimated that the cost for a jet fuel tank would likely be in the $200,000 to $250,000 range.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funding is available for such project. “I am fairly confident we can get funding for it,” he said.

In many cases, the FAA will provide up to 90 percent of funding for approved projects.

Council Member Angelia Thomas asked Allen how long it would take to have jet fuel available at the airport. “We will have to set up an area for it and put in a tank,” Allen said. “We are doing this now because you have to bid once a year for fuel. This will allow us to bid on items and get the best price for it.”