Airpark In The Ozarks
"I've been in aviation all my life," Jim Collom, developer of
Holley Mountain Airpark, proudly recalled. "I've loved it since I
was 3 years old. I went right out of high school into pilot's and
mechanic's school in Waco, Texas." Jim graduated from Atlanta High
Given this powerful affection, when Collom's spouse JoAnn told
him a few years ago that she wanted "something with a view" for the
site of their next home, the couple went flying to see what they
could find. Business partners then as now, at that time the Colloms
were owner/operators of a highly successful airframe business and
decided that they wouldn't mind at all if the place had room for an
They acquired a pristine chunk of Holley Mountain, located
roughly 5 miles northeast of the City of Clinton in Van Buren
County, Arkansas, and built their new home. Tastefully elegant with
country-casual style, this happy story could have ended then.
Instead, these initial plans blossomed, somewhat taking on a life
of their own, into a burgeoning aviation community.
"My mother used to say that I have a 'one track mind'," Collom
chuckled at the intentional play on words. "She may have been
right," he grinned. "Once we decided to develop our homestead into
an airpark, in the summer of '99, we moved 70,000 yards of dirt
building the runway. We were looking at a five-year projection on
paving the runway then, but we got it done in the first five
The gleaming 4800' x 50' "smooth as silk" lighted MIRL asphalt
runway, located roughly 60 nautical miles north of Little Rock,
Arkansas, takes center stage atop the Ozark mountains from which
the airpark draws it's name. Outfitted with state-of-the-art
multiple stage pilot operated runway lights, including PAPI lights,
VASI lights, and Hali-Brite CD-600 REILs, RNAV / GPS Approaches to
both Runway 5 and 23 are FAA approved.
Airpark grounds, now totaling 506 acres, are platted to offer
about 100 two-acre to seven-acre home sites, each with taxiway
frontage. Blacktopped and lighted taxiways meander through forested
hills agape with awe-inspiring vistas. Amenities include
underground utilities and gated entry, snuggled into dense hardwood
and pine forests.
"Everybody told us we were crazy when we started," Jim
remembered, emphasizing that the bottom line of doing the
development had, from inception, not been to simply subdivide and
sell property but to build a real community of families who choose
to live as neighbors because they love to fly with friends.
The growing residential community sports 200 acres of beautiful
wilderness, perfect for trail riding, hiking, horseback riding,
berry-picking, 4-wheelering, and playing in the sparkling mountain
stream. Other airpark amenities include a community postal center,
it's own recently state-certified Volunteer Fire Department, and an
annual fly-in/camp out event sponsored by the airpark property
owner's association, called Holleyfest.
"It's just a lot easier to 'do it right' the first time," Jim
summarized his personal life strategy. "And we're real proud of
this place. It's like we've been saying since the day we decided to
do this, we know where it's going and we're going to do it the best
way possible. Good Lord willing, we will complete the plan."