Airport prepares for a busy summer

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The Lowcountry Regional Airport Commission met virtually on April 8th and discussed ways to help reconstruct parts of the airport from the 2020 tornado that struck the City of Walterboro. According to Lowcountry Regional Airport Commission (LRAC) Chairman Bill Young, $13,000 in grant money was recently received from the FAA as part of the CARES Act. The money will be used to continue improvements to the airport.

LRA Manager Tommy Rowe explained that the airport is still waiting on insurance funds from the April 2020 storms to cover repairs and construction that needs to be completed on the hangars. “We have only received partial payment from the Insurance Reserve Fund, and are waiting on a substantial amount to be paid out to us,” said Rowe.

Meanwhile, the FAA has mandated that the airport taxiway be reconfigured. This is just after work was done in the first part of the year to improve drainage.

The taxiways were repaired just before the FAA demanded that they be demolished and reconfigured. Bids for the Taxiway Reconfiguration Project will be opened on April 29,2021.

The notice for bids has been posted on the LRA website and Facebook page. “Jamey Kempson from State Aeronautics visited last week and is going to put us on the State program for repainting the runways and taxiways sometime in the fall,” said Rowe. This will further upgrade and improve the taxiways.

Additional airport improvements

Other improvements at the Lowcountry Regional Airport in Walterboro include:

  • Repairs in the fuel farm that are being completed and the new system for recording the number of take-off and landing aircraft operations, named 1200Aero, that is working well. These numbers are required by the FAA. According to Rowe, an announcement for bids will go out in a few weeks to repair hangars. Information for submitting a bid can be found at the LRA website. The WWII hangar has been repaired and is almost complete. A new sliding door for the hangar to complete the project have been ordered but are on back order.
  • The AWOS weather system will be inspected at LRA this week. The Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) is an airport weather system that provides continuous, up to date information and reports on airport weather conditions. AWOS stations are mostly operated, maintained and controlled by aviation service providers. With inspections coming, all mowing equipment serviced and ready for spring mowing.
  • LRA received the new 3,000-gallon jet refueler truck, and officials are using it every day. Purchasing this used equipment is a boon since March fuel sales are above average at 32,588 gallons for the month. According to Roger Medlin, operations manager, “Profit margins are about the same as fuel prices and have leveled off,” said Medlin. “April fuel sales off to very good start.”

State fueling inspection for trucks and fuel farm for March were well within limits, in terms of gallons pumped and gallons recorded on meters. The new Jet-A fuel truck has been a real help for fueling operations,” Medlin added.

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