SCOTTSBORO, Ala. – There’s a lot in the works right now over at the Scottsboro Municipal Airport including repairs and a push for government contracts.
The runway at Word Field is closed as workers install new lighting after getting a more than $500,000 grant.
“The runway lights were old and deteriorating and ants get in them and get the wiring and you can’t get in here at night and we were just having trouble with our regulators so that keep them going,” said Airport board chairman Rudder Williams.
It should be re-open by the middle of next week.
They are also planning to use a brand new nearly $310,000 grant to fix some major drainage issues near where the former fixed-based operator sat.
“Just deterioration of some of the ditches and deterioration of some of the banks. Planes couldn’t park on the back side of the apron and it would eventually wound up being on our taxiways,” explained Williams.
Williams told WHNT News 19 that Word Field is one of five general aviation airports to get a nearly $1.5 million supplemental grant to redo the apron.
He added that general is big for economic development, bringing in close to $250 billion a year across the United States.
“Having a great airport, it’s another tool in your toolbox. You know, a company can fly in here with its executives, and see what’s going on at their plant and fly back out and being able to be at three different plants in a 1,500 or 2,500-mile radius and be able to do three plants in one day. You know, we’ve got Google coming online. They’ll use this airport. We’ve got projects at our industrial park that will use this airport,” said Williams.
In looking to the future, they are working with the Northeast Alabama Community College and the Jackson County School District to start an apprenticeship program in the maintenance hangar.
General aviation is near and dear to Williams’ heart after growing up in it with his dad.
“I want to see our young people grow, be able to stay here and be able to have high paying jobs. We’re trying to work with companies that have contracts with military and if we can land one of those, we can bring in 20 to 50 high paying jobs,” said Williams.