Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

August 10, 2013

New beacon, weather system part of $750,000 in upgrades to Tazewell County Airport

CEDAR BLUFF, Va. — Officials are hoping more than $750,000 worth of improvements to the Tazewell County Airport will bring in more business and development to the area.

Jerry McReynolds, manager of the Tazewell County Airport, said a $500,000 beacon to help guide planes into the airport is one of the new improvements the airport has made.

“We have a new $500,000 beacon on the airport and a new Automated Airport Weather System (AWOS) installed,” McReynolds said. “The beacon turns all night long to help identify where the airport is at. The new beacon is on a single pole and weighs only 150 pounds while the previous one weighed 950 pounds and had to be supported by multiple poles. The new beacon is much brighter.”

McReynolds said the new weather system will also be beneficial for landing planes at the airport.

“The AWOS system will also help pilots when they call in so they can get the weather information,” he said. “Knowing that is extremely important when they are trying to land at the airport, especially given the area we are in.”

Also newly complete is the second taxiway and apron around the newest hangar at the airport, which was officially opened in May 2012.

“We now have a new taxiway and apron near our new hangar, which was funded through $250,000 from state and local funds,” McReynolds said. “The new taxiway and apron will help us fully utilize that hangar so we can use both the doors on the back and front. We are also in talks with two different people to put some King Air planes in that hangar.”

Other improvements include renovations to the terminal and landing strips.

“The terminal building has been repainted and recarpeted,” McReynolds said. “The painting and carpeting in the terminal haven’t been redone in 20 years. It brings the area up to a new standard. The runways have been painted, striped and renovated. The runway paint had nearly faded away. The paint is very important and now pilots will be easily able to identify the runways from the air.”

McReynolds said all of the improvements come just in time for the annual Tazewell County Air Show, which is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 17.

— Contact Kate Coil at kcoil@bdtonline.com

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