Five-year plan pays off for M08

BOLIVAR, Tenn. — Year-end 2013 revenue figures just released from the Hardeman County Airport in Bolivar (Whitehurst Field/M08) demonstrate the benefit of defining a community airport as an asset.

Sales of fuel and hangar rents that go the county’s general fund exceeded 2012 revenue by 4%. The biggest gain in revenue production was in fuel sales, topping 2012 activity by 9.5%. A new fuel facility that was installed at the airport to provide Jet-A fuel for turbine-powered aircraft opened for business in April 2013.

“The foresight used with the airport committee to extend the runway and add hangars, combined with the fuel project, makes the airport a true front door to the community,” according to Hardeman County Mayor Willie E. Spencer. “The results of the 2008 airport improvement program indicate more benefits are in store for Hardeman County in the future.”

Hardeman County Chamber of Commerce Director Rob Jensik agrees. He says the airport is now in position to assist future economic development interests.

“Almost any business proposal that arises for this area can be enhanced with improved capability at the airport,” he says.

To make the point, Jensik notes a business entity must consider community infrastructure for the help it needs to reach customers. “And that’s regardless of scale,” adds Jensik, saying small or large businesses must consider access to all modes of transportation.

According to figures tabulated at the airport, total fuel sales were boosted to $40,657 with jet fuel sales added to lower sales of $32,131 for avgas because of fewer operations.

“The benefit,” according to airport manager Dennis O’Connor, “comes from larger fuel quantities for turbine aircraft.”

The increase of 9.5% in fuel sales is in comparison to 2012’s avgas-only sales. Total airport revenues combine fuel sales and hangar rents, totaling $70,277 in 2013, for an increase of 4% over 2012.

The local share funding for the new hangars has been recovered, officials note. Activity associated with the runway extension and fuel project will return local share funds, too, with the timing tied to aircraft operations.

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