County schools are offering buses for air show shuttles
By Ty Johnson
Published in News on March 31, 2011 1:46 PM
Wayne County Public Schools is doing its part to assist Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and the city in managing the parking situation for the Wings Over Wayne Air Show scheduled for April 16 and 17.
The buses shuttling visitors between satellite parking lots near the base and the airfield will be provided by the school system in a collaborative effort that school spokesman Ken Derksen said has been going on for more than a decade.
"We've worked with the base for years in providing shuttling," he said. "The district is covering the cost of the gas, and the base will be picking up the drivers. We all have a collaborative, working relationship. We feel like we can help make the event successful."
Derksen said it was difficult to estimate how much the gesture would cost the county, but said that the expenses incurred for shuttling during the last air show amounted to about $15,000, although the district provided fewer buses in 2009.
About 29 Wayne County Public Schools activity buses will be available during the two-day event.
Additional buses, if needed, will be provided by Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and other local military installations, 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs officers confirmed.
With estimates of up to 300,000 attendees of this year's air show, the City Council called finding an additional 27,000 parking spaces near the base to supplement Seymour Johnson's 20,000 on-site spaces a "logistical nightmare" during the March 7 council meeting. Two weeks later, though, the board approved interim City Manager Tasha Logan's proposal to use lots at Greenwood Middle and Meadow Lane Elementary schools and off of Arrington Bridge Road for overflow parking.