Jul 29 2006

Andalusia-Opp Municipal Airport Improvement Plan


By Mike Gurspan

The sky is the limit for rapid growth and construction taking place at the Andalusia-Opp Municipal Airport. Alabama US Senator Richard Shelby recently announced an $800,000 grant earmarked for the airport which will create several jobs.

The grant earmarked for a new hanger for Acrohelipro Helicopters at the municipal airport will mean at least 50 new jobs for the company.

The airport is in the middle of an overall $35 million improvement plan.

"This grant will allow the airport authority to build a 34,000 square foot facility... administration building and expand their payroll by 50 employees," said Special Projects Mgr. Misty Jones.

With the additional employees at the company, it'll have a multiplier effect on the local economy.

Lee Reaves oversees' the food and fuel services at the airport, with additional military and civilian traffic, it all adds up to dollars-and-cents.

"We’ll really grow. We’ll have a lot more airport business here. It is good for the airport and for everybody around," Reaves.

"We have a lot to offer. Our industrial park is 165,000 square feet. Currently we have five businesses in our park," said Jed Blackwell of Airport Administrator.

The monies earmarked to the airport have caught the attention of private aviators, and has made the facility an important economic provider for the area.

In addition to private construction, the Ozark aviation program at Enterprise-Ozark Community College is building a training facility at the Andalusia-Opp Airport.