- Cullman, Alabama

September 1, 2013

Growth at the airport

The Cullman Times

CULLMAN — One of Cullman County’s jewels is the Folsom Field airport.

In recent years, the Cullman Regional Airport Board and manager Bon Burns have been quietly working to make improvements to position the airport facilities as an important economic engine for the area. In a ceremony last week, area officials and residents congregated at the airport to review the completed apron improvement, which is a vital area of the facility for loading, unloading and refueling airplanes.

Folsom Field also has additional hangars, which opens the way for lucrative maintenance operations related to aviation.

Expansions at the nation’s airfields are closely monitored by the Federal Aviation Administration and require a great deal of planning to gain approval for grants and projects.

Burns and the airport board have done a good job of positioning Folsom Field for the future and providing a new economic gateway for the community.

The goal at Folsom Field is not to become a huge destination airport like Huntsville. That’s just not realistic. But for many business leaders and prospects looking over the area, the airport is an important facility. The leadership at the airport also realizes that the size and potential of Folsom Field is for attracting specialized jobs with companies that need space and access to a good workforce. Cullman County offers those resources.

Interestingly, Folsom Field is also the largest skydive operation in the state. That in itself is a marketable attribute of the airport.

The real future for airports the size of Folsom Field is in economic development. With the right commitment and vision, the local airport can continue to grow as a source of economic impact. Much of what is needed to make that happen is under way.