October Marks General Aviation Appreciation Month
September 28, 2015
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  • Seventy-five years after the first plane took off from its runway, Craig Field still has an impact on Selma and Dallas County.

    While it is no longer an active Air Force base, it averages about 25 flights a day that include private, military and corporate flights among others.

    The Dallas County Commission, along with Gov. Robert Bentley, are recognizing the month of October as General Aviation Appreciation Month.

    The commission adopted the proclamation at its last meeting, and there are several activities that are planned during October and early November to recognize the impact of aviation in Selma and Dallas County.

    “The general aviation industry provides critical services to residents of Alabama, including medical evacuation, critical care patient transport, fire-fighting, law enforcement and an aerial survey and mapping,” the proclamation reads.

    “Many communities in the state of Alabama depend on general aviation industry and general aviation airports for the continued flow of commerce, tourism and essential services.”

    Dallas County Commission Chairman and Probate Judge Kim Ballard said the commission wanted to recognize the importance of aviation in Dallas County because of the impact Craig Field has had over the years and will have in the years to come.

    “Everybody knows the importance of Craig Air Force Base. It helps in attracting industry and local pilots have planes. It just goes on and on and on,” Ballard said.

    Ballard said the base already plays a big role in industry here, but it has the potential to play an even bigger one if a Kuwait pilot training program decides to locate to Dallas County.

    “It has potential of playing a huge role if we’re successful in getting the Kuwait air training program,” Ballard said.

    Commissioner Roy Moore, who also serves on the board for Craig Field, said it is one of Dallas County’s greatest attractions for business.

    “It is the key as far as attracting industry,” Moore said. “We’re looking at Kuwait air training and their intentions of coming here and training their pilots. That is the kind of thing that can be utilized at Craig Air Force Base.”

    Moore said Wallace Community College Selma in conjunction with Craig Field’s 75th anniversary will celebrate Aviation Day Nov. 6.

    Area schools will visit the base from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. to see more than a dozen different planes fly in.