May 11, 2011 Edition

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Airport Commission discusses
repairs, Internet/phone services

Gloria Wilkerson
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge Airport Commission discussed ongoing repairs, the sale of unused army surplus equipment, alterations to the Arkansas Turbine building and Internet and telephone service changes at their meeting on Monday night.

The commission now has a stamped engineer's drawing for the adjustments needed at the Arkansas Turbine building.

"We are contemplating taking bids for the work needed per the stamp drawing," said Airport Manager Mitch Whitmire.

The drawing has been given to construction manager C.L. Clark of Clark General Contractors Inc. in Walnut Ridge. Clark will bring prices and bids to the commission when he has completed the bid process.

The commission discussed the airport's current wireless Internet service, and the difficulties the staff has had with the system, partially due to flooding and bad weather.

They voted to appropriate up to $2,000 for the installation of a hard-wired system with Suddenlink for better service. Suddenlink will provide the airport's Internet, telephone and cable service.

"Pilots check the weather conditions and check on or alter their flight plans through the Internet," Whitmire said. "We need dependable service for our pilots, as well as for the airport staff's use."

New approach lighting should be installed on the runway later this month. The MALSF lighting is a federal project, which is government funded.

Whitmire said airport representatives will meet with the FAA and project contractors in a preconstruction meeting on May 17, and construction will start the following day if the ground is dry enough and weather permits.

In other business, the commission:

  • voted to repair Leer Road and continue hut repairs.

  • agreed to put their cardboard compactor up for bid in the next round of sales. Downum Waste Service has offered to purchase the compactor, but law requires that it be placed for bid. The commission has several government surplus vehicles and items up for bid at this time.

  • discussed the U.S. Army's military training that will begin at the airport in the next two to three weeks.

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