Special to The Sun
The Guthrie-Edmond Regional Airport board was told Tuesday by officials from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission that GERA is in good shape but work needs to continue to help maximize everything the airport has to offer.
The board was given a presentation by OAC director Vic Bird and Dale Williams, OAC planning division manager about the state of the aviation industry in Oklahoma and how airports the size of GERA are faring.
Edmond board member Richard Geib said he thought the presentation from the OAC was insightful but realistic given the fact that a number of future airport projects are on hold statewide due to sequestration and other government cutbacks.
“It was a very productive meeting,” Geib said. “They came with a lot of good information about the aviation industry. Things are looking very tough right now for airport development because of the sequestration and budget cuts.”
GERA manager Justin Heid said the Guthrie-Edmond Regional Airport currently has a classification as a B2 airport and hopes to one day become classified as a C2 airport. The classifications in part determine the size of an airport and the kind of aircraft it can handle.
Heid said the OAC members told the board that GERA is doing a good job as a B2 airport and should continue its focus on that until more funding becomes available to help GERA reach its C2 classification goal.
“He said this airport looks like a great B2 airport and it needs to stay a B2 airport until the (C2) requirements are needed,” Heid said.
Heid said the board has had discussions on upgrading some smaller projects in the near future. He cited the example of Crabtree Aviation at GERA adding a Jet A (fuel) truck with single point and over wing fueling into service starting in January for airport usage.
“We are definitely increasing our capabilities here,” Heid said. “We are trying to increase our services out here.”
In other matters, Heid updated the board about the airport’s northwest development area.
“There has been no progress in the Northwest development area,” Heid said. “Flyash is the next portion of work to be completed in the soil stabilization process. The contractor will notify the airport three days prior to the use of Flyash, so that hangar tenants can be notified and prepared.”
Heid said the airport website transitioned to its new webpage in early December.
“Through the new website we will have lower operating costs, more control in keeping the webpage current and up to date, as well as being able to have local support,” he said.
Heid said Santa Claus will be making a visit to the airport on Saturday at 1 p.m. for children and their families.
“This is a great winter event that brought over 300 people out to the airport last year,” Heid said.