August 10, 2011 Edition

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Airport Commission
moving forward with
modifications to building

Gloria Wilkerson
Staff Writer

Walnut Ridge Airport Commissioners agreed to go ahead with the modifications to the building they lease to Arkansas Turbine at their meeting on Monday night.

The commission has also agreed to insulate the building, but tabled moving forward with that part of the project until next month.

"We want to be sure we have the correct type of insulation for the building," said Dan Coker, commissioner chairman.

Universal Asset Management Chief Operating Officer Kerri Wright informed the commission that the last of their company's 747s located here would be dismantled by the end of September.

"UAM is under lease with us until December 2013," Coker said. " For now, we don't know what their future plans are in regard to the airport."

Following the end of a nearly two-week Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shutdown, work at the airport will resume this week on the ramp rehabilitation, drainage improvements and MALSF lighting project, Coker said.

The partial shutdown of the FAA was brought about by a stalemate in Congress over two provisions to the funding bill that would eliminate millions in subsidies for rural airline services and make it more difficult for airline workers to unionize. The shutdown left more that 70,000 airport construction workers and 4,000 FAA employees out of work. The Senate passed an appropriations bill on Aug. 5 for the FAA, ending the shutdown.

In other business, commissioners:

  • learned that the airport's new website is currently under construction following their vote at a previous meeting to appropriate $500 for that purpose.

  • authorized Coker to renew bank documents for the airport's line of credit, which has to be done each year.

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