Work has begun on the first of two permanent air ambulance helicopter bases at the Henry County Airport.
Construction workers started work earlier this week on the Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter base at the airport.
A second base for a Vanderbilt Medical Center Lifeflight helicopter and crew is expected to start early next year, according to Don Davenport, airport manager.
Both bases will be constructed at the eastern edge of the airfield along the old crosswind runway, Davenport said.
The Air Evac base will include a hangar and pad at that runway’s southwest end.
As of Tuesday afternoon, workers from Michael Galloway Construction of Greer’s Ferry, Ark., were doing dirt and electrical work, with concrete workers expected to start pouring sometime this week.
Both the pad and hangar will be the property of the airport, and will be leased to Air Evac for a 20 year period.
Crews were also at work at a nearby dirt pad, which will be the site of a prefabricated building serving as living quarters for the helicopter’s crew.
That building is expected to arrive in two weeks.
The base could be ready to be occupied within a month, according to the construction company’s Bud Galloway.
Work is expected to begin on the Vanderbilt base nearby sometime this spring, Davenport said.
That base will be built north of the Air Evac base along the old runway. A space for a future fixed-wing aircraft hangar will separate the two helicopter hangers.
Both helicopter services currently are operating out of converted mobile homes at the airport.