Airport celebration scales back to biannually

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 14, 2008

FRANKLIN—With the support of the Franklin Municipal Airport Advisory Board, Airport Manager Jimmy Gray has announced that Community Day will now be a biennial event. The decision was official after a board meeting on Wednesday night.

&uot;We are going to hold off this year,&uot; Gray said. &uot;In order to put on a bigger and better event, we will begin having it every other year.&uot;

He noted the change would be for planning purposes, and so as to not overwork the volunteers or put undue burden on businesses that regularly donate money to the event.

&uot;I need some pretty specialized volunteers and I have a limited number of them,&uot; said Gray. &uot;I don’t want to burn them out.&uot;

He did say that more than likely, there still will be a Young Eagles day this year.

Young Eagles, sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association, introduces youngsters to flight, and was actually the origin of Community Day, according to Gray.

&uot;It started as a Young Eagles day to get kids interested in flying,&uot; he recalled. &uot;Then I had a few vendors who wanted to come out and set up booths.&uot;

Community Day, usually held the third Saturday in May at the airport, drew approximately 1,800 to last year’s celebration.

&uot;Attendees and vendors were down a little than in past years,&uot; he said. Last year marked the fifth annual Community Day event.

&uot;It was a lot harder getting participation with aircraft,&uot; Gray said. &uot;I think that the high cost of aviation fuel had something to do with it.&uot;

Gray said the current price of aviation fuel is $4 per gallon. Planes can hold anywhere from 10 to 15 gallons for smaller planes to several thousands of gallons for corporate jets.