Saturday, June 24, 2017

Butler County Regional Airport (KHAO) administrator to be terminated


Citing continued financial difficulties with the Butler County Regional Airport, the commissioners are set to fire the administrator Ron Davis on Monday.

At every budget hearing with Davis for the past several years the commissioners have shown frustration that Davis hasn’t been able to make the airport financially viable. County Administrator Charlie Young told the Journal-News when the tax budgets came in recently they knew they can no longer sustain Davis’ $93,710 annual salary.

With benefits the total general fund outlay is $110,310.

“There has been a continuing effort to meet our budget goals and we have come to the conclusion we cannot meet our budget goals with the expense we’ve had of the administrator’s position,” Young said. “We just don’t have the funding for that position at the level we’ve been paying.”

Young said general fund monies have bailed the airport out to the tune of $40,000 to $50,000 annually, up to as much as $100,000. That doesn’t even include the $155,000 in debt payments every year.

Commissioner Don Dixon said they could not allow the airport to continue to be a drain on county coffers.

“If we are not able to change the operations or change the revenue stream, we have to make the books balance,” he said. “The way to make the books balance is to cut what you can cut and the first thing you can cut is personnel.”

In the short term the county is asking the fixed base operator Cincinnati Jet, Development Director David Fehr and other staff to fill the void.

Dixon said for the long term they plan to go out to bid for a part-time, contracted administrator for Hogan Field.

“We’re looking at part-time contractor with no benefits at all,” Dixon said.

Davis, who has been at the airport almost 18 years, said he has no comment at this time. His termination is effective June 30.

Wanted: New flight school at Tri-Cities Regional Airport (KTRI)

BLOUNTVILLE — Help is wanted at Tri-Cities Airport in the pilot training department.

The former flight training instructor has retired, and Airport Authority commissioners listened to a pitch from Airport Executive Director Patrick Wilson on Thursday to restore that service.

“It relates back to growing general aviation, but there is a significant pilot shortage in the airline industry,” Wilson advised. “Flight training at airports like this is where a lot of those pilot careers start.”

Wilson said airport staff is working to lease the existing flight training office to Morristown Flying Service.

“They’ve been operating a flight school at the Morristown Airport since 1984, and since 1996 it has been owned and operated by J.B. Marshall,” Wilson told commissioners. “We continue to hear positive things about J.B. He’s a pretty well-known name in the aviation community in Tennessee. They would like to operate a flight school here. … They want to rebuild the student base that was here. … It’s going to take a little bit of time to rebuild the demand.”

The new operation, said Wilson, would be called Flying Service at Tri-Cities.

Pilot training would be offered using Cessna 182s, according to Wilson.

For more about the airport, go to

Incident occurred June 24, 2017 near Elton Hensley Memorial (KFTT), Fulton, Callaway County, Missouri

CALLAWAY COUNTY, Mo. - UPDATE 12:30 p.m.: The Callaway County Sheriff's Office received reports of an airplane that crashed in a field around 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

Sheriff Clay Chism said when deputies arrived to the 6700 block of Route O, they found that all five passengers made it off the plane safely.

Chism said only two of the passengers suffered minor injuries. No one was transported to the hospital by emergency vehicles.

Chism said the plane was head toward Elton Hensley Memorial Airport in Fulton when the pilot noticed the plane was malfunctioning.

The Federal Aviation Administration was called to investigate the crash.