October 5, 2011
By Charlotte Marsch
A series of changes at Bolivar Municipal Airport started in May and the future is looking bright for our local airport, which is good for the entire community.
The city has restructured management and operation of the airport. Rather than contracting with a fixed-base operator to provide aviation services and maintenance of the airport grounds, the city hired an employee to maintain the grounds and has contracted with a non-profit corporation to provide general aviation services.
Before approving the contract Friday with Service Oriented Aviation Readiness Inc., aldermen said it is an arrangement that will be good for everyone.
And it should be. Operated by Kerrick Tweedy of Bolivar, SOAR will provide services including airplane maintenance and flight instruction, as well as operate a restaurant, a service that has been missing from M-17 for more than a year.
Multiple FBOs have operated at the airport since it opened in 1997, most of them, if not all, struggling to make money. A non-profit corporation could be the answer for a successful venture.
But perhaps most importantly, SOAR has a goal for the greater good – establishing flight training and maintenance programs for people who are going into service-oriented jobs, such as the missions field. This training that normally costs thousands of dollars will become much more affordable.
All these changes should result in more traffic – both in the terminal and on the airstrip – at M-17, one of the finest municipal airports in the state.
And that is good for Bolivar.
– Charlotte Marsch
Source: OLIVAR HERALD-FREE PRESS