Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

May 18, 2012

Tazewell Airport Authority unveils new Horn/Hunter Hangar

CEDAR BLUFF, Va. — Airport officials in Tazewell County are hoping a newly dedicated hangar at the Tazewell County Airport will not only provide more space for planes but also boost business.

The Horn/Hunter Hangar at the Tazewell County Airport was dedicated in honor of two men who helped facilitate the expansion and creation of the new structure. The late Louis Hunter, a member of the airport authority, and Clyde “C.J.” Horn, who helped construct the hangar, were honored during the dedication ceremony for their contributions to the airport.

Jerry McReynolds, manager of the Tazewell County Airport, said the new hangar is 100 foot by 100 foot and can hold up to 10 single-engine planes.

“This hangar has two bi-fold doors while most hangars usually just have one,” McReynolds said. “That makes this hangar more valuable. It is big enough to hold a King Air plane. There is just one runway here now, but we have a project we are bidding out in June to build another taxi and runway on the other side of the hangar to make this even more valuable. The state and local governments have been so helpful in making this project a reality.”

McReynolds said having more room at the airport could encourage businesses to come to Tazewell County.

“We are hoping business is good enough in the area that we can attract some of our local businesses to use the airport as well as attract new businesses to the county,” McReynolds said. “Corporate aircraft is what you really need to help business. Our T-hangar has 8 spots and our corporate hangar has one. Those have been full for eons and this hangar allows us more space. People who have an aircraft want to have a place to put it when they are doing businesses so they can safely store it away from the elements. A lot of business people now want to fly rather than drive because it is more cost effective and takes less time. Aviation is great for businesses and great for bringing business to the area.”

With the dedication ceremony complete, McReynolds said the hangar is ready for any pilots who want a place to store their aircraft.

“It took four months to complete construction,” he said. “We have used it for transit aircraft, but now it is available for rent. The bigger airplanes pay more to rent the space than the smaller ones.”

Clyde “C.J.” Hunter was on hand to witness the dedication to the hangar he helped build. Hunter not only donated beams for the structure but drove the crane that helped complete the hangar.

“It’s just a great thing for the county and for the people of the area to have a facility like this available to them,” Hunter said. “It can attract business and make our community a better place. I try to do a lot of things for my community. This was something that needed to be done and it seemed like a good donation. I just wanted to help the people that needed it. It’s great to see the finished product.”

Lucy Hunter, the wife of the late Louis Hunter, was also present with her family to witness the dedication. Hunter said the hangar would have delighted her husband. “He loved the airport and with the airport authority,” she said. “He always looked forward to coming to the meetings. He knew this hangar was going up before he died in December, though he didn’t know they would name it after him. Jerry (McReynolds) would call him up every week and tell him how the hangar project was coming. It means a lot to me to see his name on the building. He loved the people and the fellowship at this airport so much. He would have been very proud to see this.”

Louis Hunter’s daughter Lucy Trott also came to the ceremony. “He talked about the airport all the time,” Trott said. “He loved the airport and would drag his son-in-laws or family up here all the time. He put so much time in here. We wouldn’t have missed this dedication for anything. It’s wonderful that future airplane enthusiasts will benefit from this facility because of him.”

David Darden, a local businessman and pilot, said the new hangar will benefit him and other businesses in the area that rely on air travel.

“It’s just fantastic,” Darden said. “It gives airplane owners more options to house their planes. It adds to the airport and will hopefully encourage more people to store their planes here. The staff and Jerry take very good care of the planes and pilots at this facility. I use my plan for business trips and for pleasure, to go on vacations or to just fly around the area. The plane is so much easier and takes a lot less time than a vehicle. A lot of my business trips would take six hours by car, which would be two days of travel. With a plane, I can make that same trip in one to two hours. Air travel just shortens the world.”

Wilma Sayers, chairperson of the Tazewell County Airport Authority, described the new hangar as “a dream come true.”

“We have been dreaming of this for quite a while and it has become a reality,” she said. “We are now hoping to fill it up. We have great plans for the facility. People don’t’ want their planes to sit in open weather. The planes are secure and we take good care of them. If a big company comes into the area, they want somewhere to keep their plane. We now have a place for them to store it even if it is just overnight. One of the first questions corporations looking to do business here usually ask is about travel and how they get to your area. Travel by plane is the easiest way for them. They want to know those facilities are in place.

Sayers said the hangar is dedicated to two men whose contributions to the airport went above and beyond the call of duty.

“Louis Hunter had been on the airport authority since it was founded 30 years or so ago,” Sayers said. “He has been an inspiration for us. Anytime we needed funding, he was out there raising money for us. Mr. Horn has been very interested in the airport and without him it would have been impossible to build this hangar. Mr. Horn used the crane and put these beams up himself. They are both such wonderful gentlemen.”

— Contact Kate Coil at�

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