Craig renovations to aid air traffic

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 27, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

The Craig Airport Industrial Authority is going ahead with a project it hopes can decrease potential damage to planes and draw airport traffic.

The Federal Aviation Administration is contributing more that $923,000 to resurface a parking surface for aircraft.

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The 70-acre area near the airport&8217;s main runway chips near the surface, especially during winter, and can cause severe damage to planes.

During its regular monthly meeting at Craig Airport, the board agreed to approve a spalling project plan.

The board will contribute $24,290 toward the project, which the state will match.

It was one of the projects the board has taken on to improve security and attractiveness to businesses.

More than $400,000 worth of fencing is approved to go up around the complex&8217;s perimeter. The board is also beginning improvements to plane hangars.

During it is meeting, the board also considering penalizing Meridian & Bigbee Railroad for failure to reimburse for use of tracks inside the industrial complex.

Members of the board considered court action or termination of use, but they weighed pros and cons of each decision.

Board member Frank Smith said the line is fined money for cars that sit on the tracks. The fees begin at $200 per day then increase, but the board sees no portion of that money.

The board resolved to send a letter to the rail line informing it of possible consequences for continued delinquency.

M&B services businesses in the Craig industrial complex that rely on rail transport. According to Driskell, M&B has no other points to turn its cars around between here and Montgomery.

Board members agreed it would be a tough decision either way.