The grand opening of new airport on Dry Valley Road is scheduled Jan. 25, 2013, at 11 a.m., but Jan. 18 is the best guess as to when the runway will be operational.
CMAA Vice Chairman Lou Patten said the pilot and passengers on the first official flight out can have there picture taken and pictures of the actual takeoff. The pictures can be hung in the terminal building.
CMAA Chairwoman Lynn DeVault suggested auctioning the first flight in on the FAA opening date.
“There are a lot of people who would be thrilled to say I was the first one to land,” DeVault said. “Of course, I’m sure a couple of them have already done some touch and goes out there in the cover of darkness. Somebody told me there were some skid marks on the runway.”
Airport Manager Mark Fidler questioned how the first flight in could be sold without it being a spontaneous event.
“We don’t know exactly when that’s going to happen,” he said.
Patten suggested accepting bids up to a certain date and then notifying the highest bidder when they can land.
“My question is, ‘how do we do this,’” DeVault asked.
She suggested holding an online auction or direct mailing Bradley County aircraft owners.
The grand opening will be Jan. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. by invitation only. An open house to the public will be from 2 to 5 p.m.
“From a space and logistics standpoint we had to limit the grand opening dedication,” Patten said.
The airport authority adjourned until 9 a.m. on Jan. 4 to discuss the fix based operator contract with Crystal Air.