Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Marion Airport reports growth; gets $3,500 from county

Marion-Crittenden County Airport
The offerings at Marion-Crittenden County Airport continue to grow without much investment from local taxpayers, according to Jim Johnson, chairman of the airport board.

Johnson met with county leaders recently during the regular May meeting of the fiscal court. He was there on official business, requesting $4,000 for the airport in this year’s county budget. Magistrates approved $3,500.

Johnson said the money is the local matching funds for a $650,000 hangar, which was recently built using mostly Federal Aviation Administration grant funds. The airport has blossomed in the last 15 years, going from a grass strip to a 4,400-foot paved runway capable of handling small jets. There are multiple hangars some holding from one to six planes apiece.

“Right now, we have 21 planes paying rent for hangar space,” Johnson told the fiscal court.
Between fees for hangar space and profits on fuel, the airport has a solid business plan, Johnson explained.

“Even though airport expenses have grown, we have managed to grow our revenue to keep up and we get no more help from the city and county than we did 10 years ago,” he said.

The airport will continue to grow, Johnson indicated, but there are no plans for new development this year. He said federal funds accrue slowly and once the airport has enough grant money to do more, it will. Plans are to increase the runway length to 5,000 feet at some point.