6:22am

Thu September 6, 2012
The Commonwealth

Aviation Issues in Kentucky

A cracked runway is not something a pilot wants to see when landing at a Kentucky airport.  But, rough runways have aviation officials here worried.  Winn Turney, who’s commissioner of Kentucky’s Department of Aviation, says maintenance funds have been short.  “We have a lot of runways that are cracking and stuff like that.  Most of the time, with the funds we have, we doing we call crack and seal repair.  We’ve had some runways where if you went down the center line of it, actually a nose wheel of an aircraft could almost fall into one of them.  We’ve taken care of that particular area,” said Turney.

 Fans of aviation have long boasted Kentucky’s 59 airports are economic engines.   Kentucky Department of Aviation Commissioner Winn Turney says it’s often the preferred method of travel. “You know there’s an old saying and you’ve probably heard it yourself.  You don’t come to an airport or county by bus anymore, you come by aircraft,” added Turney. Turney says the first step in creating jobs depends on bringing potential employers to town.  Turney says their corporate jets need longer runways. “Most corporate people when they fly in on either big twins or jets, they need to have at least five thousand feet.  So, we try to make sure that most of these airports that are in an area that might be economically developed have at least five thousand feet,” said Turney. Turney estimates about three quarters of the state’s airports have five thousand foot runways.  Turney, along with many of Kentucky’s airport officials, this week are attending the 36th annual Kentucky Aviation Conference in Louisville