By Van Mitchell
Special to The Sun
The Guthrie-Edmond Regional Airport board said goodbye Tuesday to one of its original members in Bill Horn of Edmond who has served with GERA since 2004.
Horn will be replaced by Gale Braden of Edmond at its next board meeting. Horn’s term expired and he asked not to be reappointed.
“We have one of the best boards around,” Horn said. “I have enjoyed my time here and my associations with the board and the airport. I want to see the progress here keep going.”
Guthrie board member Lamar Wade was named to the board the same time as Horn. He praised Horn as a man dedicated to the betterment of GERA.
“He was part of this thing when it first got started and we didn’t have a clue,” Wade said. “He had better ideas than anybody else. That was a huge deal. He is a well of information.”
GERA board president Richard Geib also praised Horn.
“He was really the driving force behind this and doing everything possible to get going,” Geib said. “Bill came on board as chairman and recognized right off the bat that we had our backs against the wall. Bill was able to change that and get this board to a position where the board members were representing the board and not their interests. That was extremely important. Bill outlasted four city mayors, three city managers and countless board members. He did a great job for us.”
In other action, GERA airport manager Justin Heid told the board that work will begin soon on boring underneath taxiway delta to allow for sewer connections to all four 100x100 hangars without additional bores being done by the builders. The project is estimated to cost $12,000 and will be paid for through funding from the Edmond Economic Development Authority that GERA previously had secured.
Heid also reported that Zivco has nearly completed work on its hangar and that Buz Holloway wants to build an eight-unit T-hangar and a letter of intent had been submitted.
The GERA board also approved a 75x75 corporate hangar for Jason Perkins and approved a hangar request by Stan Young for a three-unit hangar building, each unit being 50x50 in size.
Heid concluded his airport manager’s report by saying work continues on upgrading airport lighting and continuous inspections of the airfield are in progress for debris during the construction process and also surface condition inspections due to weather.
Board members also discussed what GERA could do to make the airport a landing destination for the 2014 U.S. Golf Association Senior Open to be at Oak Tree National Golf Course in Edmond. The event is expected to attract between 130,000 and 140,000 people.
Geib said the airport will work with Crabtree Aircraft at GERA to see what type of special services can be made available.
Crabtree serves as a full-line Fixed Based Operator for the airport, offering maintenance services, as well as fuel and oil services for pilots in the Guthrie and Oklahoma City metro area.
“They are the player in this,” Geib said. “We are anxious to work with them. It’s going to be a high-profile deal. We want to put our best foot forward.”
Geib also updated the board about efforts for both the Guthrie and Edmond city councils to meet to discuss GERA’s request to become an airport trust authority.
Geib said a letter has been sent to both city managers and they are working on a date in March or April for a joint council session.
Guthrie City Manager Sereniah Breland told the board she was working with Edmond City Manager Larry Stevens to find a suitable date to meet in Guthrie.
Geib said he was looking forward to the meeting.
“We have submitted a letter to both city managers to consider a joint council meeting to review what is going on at the airport and what we want to see happening,” Geib said. “I think it was very well received. I am very appreciative of both city managers jumping on this. This will be a good deal.”