BOLIVAR, Tenn. – Hardeman County Airport/William L. Whitehurst Field (M08) has defined a new course for its future, thanks to Federal Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds. Using a block grant from the state of Tennessee, two 12,000 gallon fuel tanks (one for 100LL, the other for Jet-A) were installed April 5.
Hardeman County Mayor Willie E. Spencer explains, “The airport fuel project was completed with two federal grants administered by the state. One grant required a local share of 10% and the other 5% for a total of $64,000. That’s the only local money we used and it will return to the county in short order now that the airport can sell more fuel.”
Airport manager Dennis O’Connor says the focus now shifts to airport users.
“Since the overhead remains low in Bolivar, aircraft operators can save money to make it worthwhile to come here,” he said.
Prices at the airport in Bolivar are among the lowest of area airports: $5.15 per gallon for avgas; $4.55 per gallon for Jet-A. Reviews on AirNav.com seem to be rather positive as well.
Prior to the fuel tanks, projects included a 2009 runway extension to 5,000 feet and a new 10-unit hangar facility in 2010. As a result, the airport recently completed a year of full occupancy.
And, as O’Connor reports, an outgrowth of the new fuel system has been added convenience for customers.
“Restrooms are now available 24/7 and we’ve added conference capability,” he said. “New projection equipment has been installed in the main reception area that can accommodate 8-10 people for a meeting.”
The end of the fiscal year, June 30, saw airport revenues from both fuel sales and hangar rents remain productive for Hardeman County, he added. Total revenues with hangar rents increased 9% over the previous fiscal year.
O’Connor says the fiscal year revenue activity represents a steady increase year-over-year since 2011. The results are attributed to a combination of new interest in the airport, marketing efforts and the implementation of updated airport policies, he noted.