PRYOR FIELD REGIONAL AIRPORT GROWS AGAIN

by Lynn McMillen
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DECATUR – Pryor Field Regional Airport (DCU) is growing yet again, with a new taxiway and access road underway on the northwest side of the airport.

Pryor Field Regional Airport (DCU) in Tanner, Ala., broke ground this month on a concrete taxiway and access road that stems off of the existing parallel taxiway for Runway 18/36. This project represents phase one of what will ultimately become the airport’s cargo ramp, totaling 188,000 square feet of ramp space. The entire project is being constructed to accommodate Boeing-737 or larger military aircraft, such as the C-130.

“Pryor Field handles a tremendous amount of on-demand freight for partners in the North Alabama area as well as several from Tennessee,” Airport Director Adam Fox explained. “Our northwest development will not only allow us to facilitate our freight operations, but also provide space for businesses to build facilities to accommodate their needs.”

Currently the Airport Authority has received four Letters of Intent (LOIs) from companies looking to build on the northwest side of the airport. The Airport Authority recently approved plans to construct a 12,000-square-foot hangar facility with classroom space north of the airport’s terminal building.

North Alabama is bolstering a lot of growth, with Limestone County, where Pryor Field resides just outside Huntsville, serving as a catalyst for the aviation industry. “We recently completed an Airport Master Plan with Goodwyn Mills Cawood, our aviation planning and engineering partners, and are proud to now begin checking projects off the list,” said Fox.

The airport taxiway and access road project, currently underway, was awarded to Wiregrass Construction, with an estimated project cost of $2.6 million. The Airport Authority received $1,315,555 in grant funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), $73,086 in grant funding from ALDOT Aeronautics, and a $1,239,107.86 bank bond to match the grants from the Authority.

“Airports have one chance to build the airport for the future, and we feel like the northwest development is the only location for numerous companies and individuals we are in conversations with. Time was of the essence to build the infrastructure needed to capture these expansion opportunities at Pryor Field. I’m glad to have the support of the Board to do what was needed to begin this project and position the airport for future success,” said Fox.

The Pryor Field Airport Authority has five board members that are appointed by Limestone County, Morgan County, the City of Decatur and the City of Athens. Faith Hooper is the Airport Authority’s first female chair, a position voted on by her fellow board members during October’s meeting.

“Pryor Field is a great airport that has a tremendous amount of growth and economic development opportunities for the state of Alabama,” Hooper said. “I am eager to work alongside my fellow board members to provide support to Adam and his team and work to continue to create jobs at Pryor Field for the communities we serve.”

Earlier this year, the Pryor Field Airport Authority Board approved a 25-year lease with a 10-year option with Acquisition Integration (AI) for a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operation at the airport. Based in Huntsville, Ala., Acquisition Integration is a distribution, logistics and services company serving the commercial and military aerospace and vehicles industries. AI has developed a four-phase plan to build 170,000 square feet of hangar and office space at Pryor Field, investing nearly $30 million and creating approximately 250 jobs.

Media Release/Adam Fox, Airport Director
Pryor Field Airport Authority 

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