Flying High At 50

Published 6:00 pm Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This year, the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Airport is celebratingits 50th year of serving the area.

Alan Morrow, airport manager, said the two hangars closest tothe office are the original hangars built, but there are plans inthe works to replace them. In their place, a large community hangarand a parking lot will be built.

“We have the money to do the work,” he said. “We’re just waitingfor the engineering firm to give us the nod.”

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Currently, the hangar houses 32 aircrafts, all owned by localpeople. In addition, the airport generally gets about three to fourflights a day.

“They’re usually getting fuel, dodging weather or stopping forthe night,” Morrow said.

He also said the airport provides access to the community.

“It allows people direct access to the businesses in Brookhaven,or they can visit friends and family,” he said.

On the other side, he said it gives the Brookhaven communityimmediate access to basically the entire country. Although rightnow all flights are private, there is a person working on gettingcertification to start a charter service based here.

“If he does get certified, they can call and go anywhere theywant, just like a regular airline,” Morrow said.

Sharp Air Services, a partnership between two brothers, recentlybegan operating out of hangar 24.

John and Jeff Sharp run the business and both are A&P/IAcertified aircraft mechanics. The certification allows them to signoff on aircrafts’ inspections.

“We’re qualified to sign off on those who are flight worthy,”John Sharp said.

He said they are hoping to receive structural repair stationcertification. There are only six of the stations in the country,and adding to the list will bring more business to the airport.

Both brothers are excited about the future possibilities.

“I’m just grateful we’re here and looking forward to a long stayhere in Brookhaven,” Sharp said.

Morrow said over the 50 years, hangars have been added, therunway has been extended for larger aircrafts, and a FederalAviation Administration-approved light equipment addition. Thelight system allows planes to use instrument landing procedure toland and leave in bad weather.

The airport also has a weather station that is part of the NOAANational Weather Service. The information from the system isreported across the nation through systems like

“We try to modernize the airport as needed to support the newestaircrafts,” Morrow said.

Another service the airport offers is a rental car servicethrough Enterprise.

The airport also has been working with radio controlled(unmanned) aircrafts and with a local radio control pilot club.Morrow said he hopes to bring rallies that may be as large asstatewide or nationwide.

“Everything I try to do is to move the airport forward soBrookhaven and Lincoln County can maximize business options,” hesaid. “People who own planes can land here. If they have a place toland and nice facilities, they’ll come here instead of somewhereelse.”