Lonesome Pine Airport Manager Jarrod Peters
WISE — Various improvements underway at Lonesome Pine Airport indicate progress — and the importance of state funding.
Cumberlands Airport Commission Chairman Donnie Rose reported receipt of a nearly $300,000 Virginia Department of Aviation grant to fund land purchases required for mandated clearance on runway six. It is one of the greatest accomplishments while he's been on the board, Rose said at the commission's Sept. 24 meeting, noting that it had been an eight-year undertaking. The local cost, he said, was only about $6,000.
Airport Manager Jarrod Powers reported progress on a string of projects, including installation of a self-service fueling system for both aviation and jet fuels. The cost is expected to be roughly $21,000, Powers said, with more than 60 percent of the cost picked up by the state. He reported getting positive feedback from pilots who routinely use the airport.
Powers related progress on a variety of smaller projects, noting that most qualify for some level of state funding. "The state of Virginia is really good to the airports," he noted.
In his report to the commission, Powers also noted that:
• Fuel sales for August 2015 represented a 71 percent increase over the same time last year and September sales were on track for similar gains. He attributed some of the increase to Wings Air Rescue traffic as well as law enforcement aerial drug eradication efforts.
• He had been recently honored with the Virginia Aviation Ambassadors Award, a state program that encourages air travel and safety. Participants are required to visit or fly into all airports in the state, complete safety seminars, visit aviation museums and meet a variety of other criteria. The commission congratulated Powers on his accomplishment.