September 30, 2011
By Stephanie Ockerman
Residents of Morehead and Rowan County can get a first-hand look at their new, $20 million Clyde A. Thomas Regional Airport this Saturday at the facility’s first Community Day.
Featured will be aircraft displays, food and airplane rides.
The event kicks off at 7 a.m. with an all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast for $5.
The Experimental Aircraft Association will offer free airplane rides with parental permission for kids aged 8 to17 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Vintage and modern military and civilian aircraft will be on display, including two jets, a biplane and a Huey helicopter. PHI Air Medical also will be on hand.
Airplane rides will be offered for $20 per person. Tethered hot air balloon rides will be available for $10 per person, for two hours after sunrise and two hours before sunset.
There will also be a food stand, live radio remote and disc jockey.
The dream of establishing a full-service general aviation airport locally began nearly 20 years ago.
Mike Gray, airport board chairman, said Saturday will be an exciting day because it allows the community to see how the airport promotes economic development, supports local emergency services and medical facilities and provides a safe environment for general aviation pilots.
Tours of the airport’s community hangar and terminal building also will be provided.
“This airport belongs to the community,” said Gray, a pilot himself. “Saturday will allow everyone to take ownership of the facility while enjoying a fun-filled day.”
The regional airport represents an investment of more than $20 million in federal and state funds with the terminal building and community hangar costing $862,000.
The road to the airport, which was dedicated earlier this month, was built at a cost of $1.5 million in federal and state funds with another $600,000 in utility costs for the airport and the adjacent 65-acre Morehead-Rowan Aviation Business Park.
The two-lane road goes from KY 801 at the National Guard Armory for a distance of 1.8 miles across the business park property to connect with Kissick Road and on to the airport.
The new airport has 5,500 feet of runway and is the largest general aviation runway in Northeast Kentucky.
At present, more than 20 privately-owned aircraft are kept at the airport. The first phase of the airport opened in August 2007 and the old airport at Farmers closed on Nov. 1, 2007.
Mike and Tracey Potter are fixed base operators of the new airport.
Source: THE MOREHEAD NEWS