Granite Shoals changes airpark designation to coax federal improvement funds

Phil Reynolds/The Highlander
Granite Shoals’ Bob Sylvester Airpark at 810 Mystic Drive is no longer an airpark after city council moved the field from the parks department and renamed it on Tuesday. It’s now Granite Shoals Municipal Airport, eligible for airport improvements.

 

 

 

 

By Phil Reynolds
Contributing Writer

It’s not Bob Sylvester Airpark in Granite Shoals any more, though the airport itself hasn’t changed.

City Council members unanimously voted to rename the air park as an airport at Tuesday’s meeting, taking it out from under the parks department and making it eligible for official airport improvements and federal grant funding.

The vote on the resolution didn’t come without some pushback, however.

Council member Todd Holland, who said he’s “not an airplane guy,” wondered if any plan existed to improve the facility, which basically is a 2,000-foot-long grass airstrip with two tie-down spots for aircraft.

If you want to get some fire under this (proposal to improve), show us some plans,” he told airport backers.

Holland said there’s no way for anyone to approach the airport by car to watch planes taking off and landing and pointed to a row of trees bordering the runway. A line of houses abuts the facility on the south end, over which most aircraft would normally approach, given prevailing winds

Holland also noted that visiting pilots, once they’ve figured out how to secure their planes, have no way to get around town.

Other cities have pressed former police vehicles or other city vehicles into service as “loaners” for visiting airmen.

Addressing a statement that once improvements were made, pilots would begin using the airstrip, Holland said, “that doesn’t sound like very good planning to me.”

Nevertheless, he joined other council members in approving the resolution changing the name. The change is effective immediately.

To offer a comment or news tip, email lew@highlandernews.com.

 

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