Old HF airport to close Jan. 1
by By DAVID DAVIS Managing Editor
Aug 18, 2013 | 2784 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
New Year’s Day of 2014 will mark the official closing date of Hardwick Field and Cleveland Regional Jetport will become the city’s general aviation airport.

Cleveland Municipal Airport Authority member Verrill Norwood said Friday during a regularly scheduled meeting that all aircraft must be off the old airport by Dec. 31.

He said appraisals for the property, including hangars at Hardwick Field, would be available later this week, which he will forward to CMAA chair Lynn DeVault.

“Hangar owners have four months to decide what to do,” Norwood said.

A sale date of the old airport is still in question. However, DeVault said after the property sells, hangar owners would be given 60 additional days to dispose of the hangars, unless the hangar owners buy the property where their hangars sit.

“When we finally determine the sale strategy, whether by sealed bid or whatever, then we can specify the closing date will be 60 days after the sale,” DeVault said.

“There is a load of paperwork before we can sell the property,” Norwood said. “There is permission to deactivate, permission to close, a no further action letter from Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for the underground fuel tanks.”

In other discussion, Jetport Manager Mark Fidler said construction of hangar pads is proceeding as weather permits as development of the fledgling general aviation airport on Dry Valley Road N.E. continues. He reported that seven rain days slowed the contractor from pouring concrete and dirt work for hangar pads.

“Yesterday (Thursday), they did pour half of the slab for the east hangar and they’re continuing on the grading to get ready for pouring concrete on the second slab, the west hangar,” Fidler said.

The shipping date of the first T-hangar is Oct. 11, followed by the second hangar three weeks later. The first hangar should be ready for occupancy by Dec. 1 and the second by mid-December.

“The buildings go up pretty fast. It’s actually the wiring inside the building that takes a little time,” he said.

Water, sewer and other utilities should be in place within two weeks.

“We’ll be able to provide those services to customers like Steve Wright, who are already out there and they will have fully functional hangars,” he said. “When other people move in, the services will already be established.”

In addition, the perimeter road is now open for construction traffic instead of bringing in on taxiway alpha.

DeVault commented that more grade work is needed in various locations to maintain correct elevations and the possibility of adding a formal signage on Dry Valley Road for marking the entrance to the facility.

“I think none of that should happen until all of this construction has happened because we need the final grading, but it’s beginning to look like a real airport. It’s exciting to see the construction and all the things going on out there,” DeVault said.

Fixed Base Operator Taylor Newman, of Crystal Air, reported sales of 2,100 gallons of avgas and 2,300 gallons of jet fuel in his update.

“Crystal Air is consuming about 35 percent of the avgas right now, so that means we’re busy flying airplanes with students, rental and things like that,” he said. “We were busy in the maintenance shop too. We didn’t bill much for outside maintenance in July. Most of it was internal, but we’ve done some in August and more coming in September.”

The airport authority approved a request from Chuck Jabaley to assign 50 percent of his lease to John Sheehan.

“John Sheehan wants to build a hangar bigger than would fit on one plot, so he wishes to consolidate two plots and sign a lease on those two plots,” DeVault said.

The authority also approved several retro motions authorizing Vice Chairman Lou Patten and DeVault to sign a grant application and work authorization.

In a discussion of studies related to the 500-foot runway extension, Fidler reported the weight limit placed on the runway by the Federal Aviation Administration is 95,000 pounds until engineering studies determine the actual weight limit.

“We know it’s well above that, but without it being issued a formal engineered amount, that’s the maximum they’ll allow us to depict in our publication,” he said.

He said 95,000 pounds would accommodate a fully fueled Gulfsteam G-5 business airplane.

Fidler said his best guess is the FAA could grant approval in the second quarter of 2014 to proceed with the extension of the 5,500-foot runway.