Navy proposal dominates board meeting

Published 8:51 am Friday, February 4, 2011


FRANKLIN—The Navy’s proposal to use Franklin Municipal Airport for pilot training dominated the Airport Advisory Board meeting Wednesday.

The board talked about who would maintain the facility, particularly keeping the runway clean and providing firefighters on site, as requested by the Navy.

In related matters, the City Council announced Thursday it will hold a town hall meeting 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 14, at the Paul D. Camp Community College Regional Workforce Development Center.

On Jan. 21, city officials received a “performance statement” from the Navy for using the airport for practice landings of turboprop aircraft, which take cargo and people to carriers at sea.

In exchange, the city could get $700,000 to $1 million annually.

Based on information provided, the city’s logistical responsibilities would be considerable, officials say.

Members of the Airport Advisory Board also discussed writing and paying for safety manuals, handling any initial and recurring training costs, and providing security,

Airport Manager Jimmy Gray and board members said they are concerned about having all the information so they can thoroughly review the details before making a recommendation to the city.

“You can’t give information to the public before knowing the facts,” Gray said. “We’ve got to do homework. It takes time.”

“When we get all the facts, we’ll know more,” added Airport Advisory Board Chairman Bobby Cutchins.