Lanett Municipal Active Once Again After Four-Year
As this year's Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association's annual
Fly-In kicks off Saturday in Frederick, organization officials and
attendees alike will have one more reason to celebrate. Thank in
large part to the efforts of volunteers with the pilot
advocacy group, a small general aviation airport that once was
closed has reopened, after four years.
Terming the event
nothing short of a "miracle," AOPA says the successful effort to
reopen Lanett Municipal Airport (7A3) took unprecedented dedication
and cooperation from politicians, pilots, and communities at
AOPA says a ceremony reopening Lanett was held May 21, thanks to
residents and political leaders in four cities and two states. AOPA
Airport Support Network volunteer Mike Ballard was actively
involved in raising community awareness and support for the
airport, preparing necessary paperwork, and working with city and
"To finally achieve this goal is very fulfilling but also
exhausting," Ballard said, noting that it took a combination of
perseverance, cooperation, and a drive for economic development
that led to the opening of a new automotive manufacturing plant
just five miles from the field, a plant that will bring jobs to the
once-depressed area and benefit from easy access to an airport.
Other factors included the dedication of local politicians. In
fact, Lanett Mayor Oscar Crowley campaigned on a promise to reopen
the airport—a promise he was able to fulfill. And Crowley was
by no means the only elected official who worked to get the airport
back in business.
Leaders from the cities of Lanett, Valley, and Lafayette in
Alabama, and West Point in Georgia, banded together to promote the
airport and keep the project on track. During the reopening
ceremonies, Valley Mayor Arnold Leak recognized the cooperation
that brought the airport "back from the dead..." and looked ahead
to the addition of another runway.