Municipal airport taking off

Published 10:32 am Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Hangar is at 20o% capacity

The airport is taking off.

Atmore Municipal Airport Manager Freddie McCall Jr. said Monday that at present, two airplanes are being used to spread fertilizer on pine trees.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

He said the planes are working with the Alabama Forestry Commission.

“That’s one way our airport services the community,” McCall said.

McCall said two years ago there were four aircraft in the airport’s hangars. Today, there are 23 based at the airport.

He said the airport is a self-sustaining operation and actually generates revenue for the city. He said revenue for the airport comes from fuel, maintenance and hangar rent.

“That allows the airport to be self sufficient so it doesn’t cost local tax payers any money at all,” McCall said. “Nothing comes out of the general fund (budget for Atmore) for the airport. The airport contributes to the general fund.”
McCall said the airport is home to a variety of airplanes, including a Culver, which is an antique craft and one of nine left flying around the world.
“We’ve got from Beach Craft, Cesna, Piper and a variety of models in a different name bran,” he said. “There are aerobatic-based craft and small commuter craft.”

McCall said Mayor Jim Staff has strongly supported the airport and has done a good job of allowing the airport to operate and bring it to what it has now.

“From four to 23-based aircraft,” he said. “That puts us at over 200 percent of capacity with the hangars.”

Additionally, he said on occasion, the LifeFlight helicopter from Atmore Community Hospital is housed in the hangar when bad weather comes through the area.

With added success sometimes come improvements.

McCall said the airport is working on a jet fuel system to help service jets.

“We’re looking on getting a parallel taxy way,” he said, adding that they’re also working on getting new hangars for more capacity. “’If you build it, they will come,’ like the movie line says.

“We’re also working on getting a new fix-based operations or new terminal built,” he said. “The one we have now is over 40 years old. These are all things we’re working on in the future. The future for the Atmore airport is very bright.”