06/23/05 — Mount Olive airport will get equipment enabling pilots to operate lights

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Mount Olive airport will get equipment enabling pilots to operate lights

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on June 23, 2005 1:45 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The airport committee has authorized the airport manager to buy a new piece of equipment that will enable pilots to turn on the runway lights at night.

The airport has a pilot-controlled light system, Airport Manager Mike Bass said, but it hasn't worked for years. He said it would cost $2,675 to replace it.

The vote was unanimous to buy the system.

Bass said within seven months the savings on the light bill would pay for the new system.

To replace one light on the runway would cost $200, Airport Committee member George Futrelle said.

Futrelle is also the manager of the Duplin County Municipal Airport. He said the airport he runs near Kenansville burns the runway lights all night, but they are set on low.

He said the light bill went from about $500 a month to $450 when he dimmed them at night.

The light bill for Mount Olive's runway and terminal is about $500 a month.

Futrelle said some municipal airports, like Rocky Mount-Wilson, turn their runway lights off at midnight.

But if a pilot has an emergency, Chairman Bob Quinn said, "those lights look mighty good."

He said during a period when the airport was having trouble with its lights, he flew in one night and "landed in a black hole."

Committee member Doug Wiggins said it's good to be able to come to Goldsboro-Wayne Airport and, from 15 miles out, turn on the runway lights.