Airport reopens for business

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 2, 2002

The Greenville airport reopened September 22 after having been closed for several weeks to extend the runway.

The runway now measures 5,500 feet, which, according to airport manager Travis Capps, will safely allow most corporate sized jets to land and take off.

"It all comes down to something called Accelerated Stopping Distance," he said. "That is the length a runway must be to allow a jet to abort, for any reason, a take off safely."

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Capps said the increased length has already proven to be an asset.

"Last Thursday, during all that rain, a medical team from the University of Alabama Birmingham came down here in a jet and picked up a patient," he said. "The pilot told me they wouldn't have even attempted it with all this rain if we had not extended the runway. In ideal conditions, their jet would have taken the entire original runway to land, but last Thursday, conditions were far from ideal."

Capps said several local companies have suffered from the short runway in the past.

"Century Steps has not been able to fly their CEO into this airport in three years because the runway wasn't long enough," he said. "He's been having to fly into Montgomery and rent a car to come here."

Capps said the airport, though owned and operated by the City of Greenville, helps the entire county and even the surrounding counties.

"This is a public airport, and by that I mean anyone is welcome to land or take off from here at virtually no charge," he said. "The City covers all costs of operations around here, but we also bring in a lot of money to the area."

Capps said he frequently gets people landing in Greenville to play golf or go hunting.

"It's not uncommon for people to come down for the weekend and play golf here," he said. "The airport provides