BOLIVAR, Tenn. — Mogas has been added as a new product line at the Hardeman County Airport (M08) in west Tennessee, otherwise known as Whitehurst Field in Bolivar.
“Thanks to the good fortune of our new fuel facility yielding a spare tank,” according to airport manager Dennis O’Connor, “there was only minimal cost to now add mogas and fill a void in the mid-south region.”
According to research developed by the county’s airport committee, the nearest airport for mogas in the general area of Memphis has been Murray, Kentucky (KCEY).
“And,” as O’Connor notes, “the airport there is 93 nautical miles from Bolivar. Our location will make access easier, and it will make sense, too; we’re offering 93-octane mogas at the same price of $4.65. I’m thinking 93 is a lucky number.”
M08 is the site of the former Bolivar Aviation, a flight school with a program that was mostly populated by international students until 1993.The airport has largely been dormant since. However, local leadership launched an extensive improvement program in 2008, extending the runway to 5,000 feet, adding T-hangars and, in April of this year, opening a new 24/7 fuel depot with Jet-A added to 100LL. Operations and occupancy have gradually increased and a new turbine tenant is set to arrive in December, according to O’Connor.
Improvements at M08 have been assisted with federal grants from the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). While the program does not typically cover fuel depots, AIP in Tennessee is administered by the Aeronautics Division of the state’s Department of Transportation in a “block grant” program sponsored by the FAA, allowing an extra margin of discretion for grant-supported projects.
“In addition,” added O’Connor, “Tennessee has long been aviation-friendly, not just because FedEx is in Memphis, and significant airline and corporate operations are in Nashville. Airports are a front door even for the smaller towns, and the state has been gracious in its help for our town’s airport because our county is one of Tennessee’s more economically-distressed locations.”